Bold promise is based on foundation of past success

Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

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There’s a saying in life that fortune befriends the bold and Portsmouth’s new head of education has certainly wasted no time in nailing her colours to the mast.

Di Mitchell says that in just four years, all the city’s schools will achieve exam pass rates above the national average.

Of course some will say she is setting herself up for a fall but we applaud her for having the courage of her convictions.

Let’s not forget that Mrs Mitchell’s track record suggests that this is more than just a rallying cry designed to herald her arrival in Portsmouth with a symbolic but hollow fanfare.

It’s actually a target that she has already achieved once before and that in itself should tell you something about her motivation.

At her previous post in Bournemouth, Mrs Mitchell took the same length of time to raise exam grades at failing school there.

Now she believes she can repeat that in Portsmouth and we’re sure her straight talking attitude will appeal to parents who want to know that she means business.

A lot of good work is already being done in Portsmouth’s schools and we recognise that the city’s headteachers are both dedicated and driven.

However, it is true to say that as far as government targets and exam results go, some of our schools have consistently come in below the national average.

Ultimately, education is a service that we all help pay for but none of us should make the mistake of believing our investment can only be measured in monetary terms.

As parents, grandparents and students, getting the best from our schools is a priority because we’re talking about laying good groundwork for future generations.

Mrs Mitchell admits that things in the education world move fast and acknowledges that goal posts get moved. Who knows where academy schools will take us in the future, or what that might mean for local authorities.

For now we’re pleased to see that Mrs Mitchell has got off to a flying start, already paying 35 schools a visit. As a former teacher herself, she appears to have a broad wealth of experience to call on and we wish her well for the future.