Sunday, December 21, 2008
TOP RATINGS FOR BEDFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL CHILDRENS SERVICES
OUTSTANDING OFSTED RATING FOR CHILDREN'S SERVICES
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.
'FOSTERING AND ADOPTION SERVICE IS OUTSTANDING AGAIN
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.
YOUTH OFFENDING SERVICE IS NO.1 IN THE COUNTRY
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.
BEDFORD SCHOOLS ARE OUTSTANDING
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.