30 June 2010

The government has advised Northamptonshire County Council that it is no longer in need of monitoring following the significant progress the organisation has made in addressing school improvement in the county.

The department for education has confirmed that monitoring, which has been taking place since November 2008 and consisted of regular meetings with department officials to examine progress, is not longer necessary.

In a letter to the council, children and families minister Tim Loughton states: “It is clear that Northamptonshire has made significant progress in addressing the issues raised and your senior management team along with the lead member have taken decisive action to address many of the issues of concern...I am satisfied the council has the strategic drive, commitment and momentum to continue this work.”

Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “That the government has decided that more autonomy and less regular monitoring is needed shows their confidence that we know and understand the needs of our individual schools and our own service.

“It is confirmation that we have in place the necessary processes and procedures to continue to maintain an accurate and reliable knowledge base of our schools and how best to support them in delivering improved outcomes for children and young people.”

“It is also a reflection of the effectiveness of the partnerships we have built up with our schools as we work together to improve outcomes for all learners.”

Additional information:

Currently 96.3 per cent of county schools are judged as satisfactory or better, with just over half judged good or outstanding; 3.7 per cent of our schools have an inadequate rating.

The government has also recognised the improvements made in relation to the process undertaken in completing serious case reviews; in 2008, OfSTED highlighted shortcomings which were subsequently addressed by the Northamptonshire Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.