At last Suffolk is beginning to claw its way back up the education league tables according to an article in today’s East Anglian Daily Times. Well it had to, as the only way was up from a woeful 142nd place out of 151. GCSE results in the County have now climbed 5 places – not much, but movement in the right direction. For years we warned the Tories that the massive schools reorganisation programme would destabilise education in Suffolk. We also advised against the huge cuts which they made in the budget for school improvement.
When the Lib Dems jointly ran the council from 1993 to 2005, Suffolk was widely admired and our results placed the County near the top of the English league table. For twelve years we prioritised support to schools, in the face of national Government cuts to local authority budgets (plus ca change!). When the Tories took control they were hell bent on abolishing Middle Schools, whatever the cost. They must judge in hindsight how much that decision has damaged a generation of pupils in Suffolk. Ironically the County Upper school in Bury St. Edmunds (the only remaining three tier area in Suffolk) is in the top three best performing state secondary schools in the County.
Let’s hope the Tories have now realised the error of their ways and that they will at last give schools the support they deserve.