Sunday, December 21, 2008


Bedfordshire County Council has been given an 'Outstanding' rating by Ofsted for keeping children safe and making a positive contribution to children's lives. This year's Ofsted Annual Performance Assessment (APA) rated the County Council's Child Protection Service as one of the best in the country. This is very reassuring after all the recent national media coverage of the horrific treatment of Baby P and the poor quality of Haringey Council's Child Protection Service.

As Vice Chairman of the Council's Children's Services Committee I am very proud of this accolade, particularly as the Service was poor and in 'Special Measures' before my election in May 2005 as a County Councillor and has made a dramatic improvement since then.

Bedfordshire County Council's Private Fostering and Adoption Service has also been rated Outstanding by Ofsted, the third Outstanding rating for the Service in 2008. Ofsted commented "All features of the service are outstanding and yield good outcomes for the children and young people involved" - high praise indeed!

The County Council will be supporting a National Campaign which runs 19-23 January 2009 to highlight the potential vulnerability of children living in private fostering arrangements and will promote the need to notify the local authority of such arrangements.

As previously reported Bedfordshire County Council's Youth Offending Services is now rated No.1 in the country and has reduced the number of first time offenders by 28.1% in 2007/8.

Putnoe Lower School has just received an Outstanding Ofsted report and was a finalist in the DCSF National Teaching Awards Sustainable Schools Awards. Congratulations are due to the Head Teacher, Gillian Peck, pictured above with some of the children, for this tremendous achievement, supported by teachers, governors, parents, children and the County School Improvement Team.

Queens Park Lower School was also recently rated Outstanding and Elstow Lower School, where I am Vice Chair of Governors was the first Lower School in Bedfordshire to be rated Outstanding in 2005.

John Bunyan Upper School has also just been praised by Ofsted for its continuing performance improvement under the strong leadership of its new Head Teacher, Ursula Byrne, who has formed a partnership with the University of Hertfordshire. Ofsted particularly praised the school for its social cohesion, racial harmony, excellent pastoral initiatives and improved examination results. This improvement should continue when the school becomes an Academy in 2010.

Bedford Upper Schools achieved their best ever GCSE results in 2008, with Sharnbrook Upper School achieving an 80% GCSE pass rate for the first time.

This excellent news is in sharp contrast to the blatant misinformation in Beds on Sunday and Bedford News about 'poor' Bedford Schools, which is untrue and unfair to the hardworking staff and students at our rapidly improving Bedford schools.


Anonymous said...

Your blog sounds all very encouraging, and I admire what you are trying to do, but having seen today's Bedfordshire on Sunday is it worth me actually voting Conservative anymore.

Whats is you viewpoint on this matter?

Will the Bedford Conservatives candidate come 3rd at the General Election?

One of your fellow local bloggers seems to think the candidate visits New York quite a bit, is this fair on his constituents?

Cllr Lynne Faulkner said...

Do not believe what you read in BOS who conduct a vicious vendetta against Beds County Council and NEVER write anything positive even though we are a 3 star Council.

There was NO County bias in Bedford over Councillor selection. Unitary Councillors will work much harder as there will only be 36, instead of 72. Three withdrew due to work problems, 3 were deselected and Barry Huckle did not apply for the Wilstead seat.

Yes it is well worth voting Conservative for hardworking and honest Conservative MPs like Nadine Dorries, my local MP AND ME - just read our Blogs!

Cllr Lynne Faulkner said...

Two deselected Borough candidates were rejected in favour of BOROUGH Councillors. The only County Councillor chosen instead of a
Borough Councillor was selected on merit. She is a highly respected Councillor, Parish Council Chairman and Chair of Children's Services, which the Borough Council has no experience of.