A team of Norfolk headteachers have travelled to the central London borough of Lambeth as part of a bid to drive up education standards in our county.
The consortium hoped to pick up tips to help lift Norfolk from its current position as one of the worst counties for educating primary school children from low income families.
Malcolm Brockway, headteacher of Narborough, Sporle and Castle Acre schools partnership was one of nine headteachers selected to go to Lambeth, which is leading the way in supporting working class children.
Mick Castle, Cabinet Member for Education and Schools at Norfolk County Council, said: “This visit is one of the many actions we are taking to support schools to raise levels of achievement in Norfolk.
“We have both urban and rural deprivation in the county and we need to do more to narrow the gap between children from middle class and working class families.
“All children deserve the best possible education and their class and background should not be a barrier, or an excuse, for low aspirations or levels of achievement.
“We want to draw on the expertise of those who can help Norfolk’s schools to better support these children. There is already some good work going on in many of the county’s schools but Lambeth is a leader in this field and we are keen to learn from what they have achieved.”
Norfolk is currently working to raise education standards across the board after a directive from Ofsted.
League tables published last summer, showed the percentage of children eligible for free school meals leaving primary school having achieved expected standards in subjects including English and maths in Norfolk was 56 per cent, in 2012.
That compared to 66 per cent nationally and put the county in the bottom ten local authorities for that measure.
Rachel Heywood, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “I’m very proud of the achievements of our schools and it’s a great opportunity to share our expertise around improving the quality of primary education, and bettering outcomes for those children who are not doing as well as others.”
The tables published last summer, showed 32.4 per cent of pupils from low income families leave secondary school with the gold standard of five GCSE C grades, including English and maths, compared with 36.4 per cent nationally.
It put Norfolk 85th out of 153 local authorities.
Nationally, 34 per cent of 19 year olds from those backgrounds achieved A-level standard qualifications.
In Norfolk the figure was 26 per cent.