The Raising the Bar commission, chaired on behalf of Suffolk County Council by the Royal Society for Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce’s (RSA) chief executive Matthew Taylor, would like to hear from people who have ideas that will help young people achieve more at school and become better prepared for the working world.
Launching the call for ideas, Matthew Taylor said:
The aim of the Raising the Bar programme is to make sure young people in Suffolk have the best possible chance to succeed at school, and get great jobs, in a fast-changing world.
At the moment, Suffolk's young people are falling behind, with lower exam results than most of the rest of the country. Employers often tell us that Suffolk's young people are leaving school without the skills they need.
We want to make new things happen quickly. People in Suffolk are already excited about this work and are developing new ideas to transform learning in Suffolk. But we need more ideas and this is an important opportunity for people to share their views.
People are being urged to submit their ideas online using the Raising the Bar website: www.rtbsuffolk.org The deadline is 2 November 2012.
The call comes just one week after a leading figure from the commission, the RSA’s director of education Joe Hallgarten, proposed that Suffolk schools work with businesses to develop a localised educational award designed to help young people reap the benefits of the county’s economic strengths.
At a meeting of secondary school head teachers in Ipswich, he said that young people should be 'given the tools to capitalise on Suffolk's strengths' by studying for a 'Suffolk Baccalaureate’ alongside their GCSEs.
If adopted by schools, the Suffolk Baccalaureate could be used to close the gap between the classroom and the workplace by teaching young people the skills needed to be successful in today’s tough employment market, and especially local industries.
Those workplace skills, which would be in addition to traditional GCSE qualifications, could include:
- Resilience, character, confidence, flexibility.
- Self-management, team-working and problem solving.
- Knowledge of key local industries such as green energy production, agriculture and tourism.