Council launches next phase of Raising the Bar


Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet has agreed an update to the Raising the Bar strategy, covering the years 2018-2020.

This is the next phase of the Raising the Bar journey, demonstrating the council’s continued commitment to creating an education system for Suffolk that is among the best in England – with the aspiration for Suffolk’s children to achieve outcomes that are not just at national averages, but in the top 25% in England. 

The plan for the next two years has been developed in consultation with education and training providers across Suffolk. Including headteachers, teachers and other education settings. Parents also had the chance to have their say via a public consultation last autumn.

Raising the Bar 2018-20 will focus on the following three priorities:

  • Exceptional leadership and governance across the education sector – this means that leaders and governors of early years settings, schools and post-16 providers set the highest aspirations for children and young people. They will promote equality and equity, challenge each other to achieve, and ensure no child or young person is left behind.
  • Excellence in teaching and learning, driven by system led improvement and Innovation – all children and young people will have the right curriculum for them thatincludes pastoral experience that ensures they can achieve their full potential, develop resilience, and build the self-confidence and interpersonal skills needed to apply theirknowledge.
  • The best opportunities for every child and young person – processes are being put in place to ensure that all children and young people have access to learning and support they need that enables them to make good progress and meet their emotional and wellbeing and academic needs. 

Raising the Bar was first established in 2012. Six years on, many more children now attend ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ school and outcomes for children and young people of all ages have improved.

  • 87% of Suffolk schools are now judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, which is an increase of 12% from 2015. We also continue to improve at a rate twice as fast as national.
  • 96% of Suffolk childcare providers (non-domestic premises) are now judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, which is an increase of 13% since 2015 and in line with national.
  • Significant improvements in attainment has been made at each key stage:
    • At age 5, children in Suffolk are more likely to start school having achieved a good level of development than in other places
    • At age 11, 8% more pupils are achieving expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics
    • At age 16, more of our young people are achieving 5 good GCSEs
  • At every key stage Suffolk children are making more rapid progress than two years ago, which means that more children are receiving the education they need to be successful
  • Large gains have been made in closing the gap for the most disadvantaged children.

Councillor Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council, said:

“Suffolk’s children and young people deserve the best education system. When the Raising the Bar programme first launched, we always knew it was going to be a long journey, but through the hard work and commitment of education providers, families, communities and businesses significant progress has been.

“Suffolk’s education system has come a long way and there is much to be proud of, however we are not stopping now. The next phase of Raising the Bar continues to be ambitious and supports all children and young people in Suffolk to achieve their full potential. I look forward to celebrating further achievements in 2018 to 2020.” 

For more details, read about Raising the Bar 2018-20.