Unveiled: Somerset’s Vision for Education

Cabinet members have today (Wednesday 11 May) approved an ambitious vision for a top-class education system for 110,000 children and young people across Somerset.

Somerset County Council’s strategy, ‘Achieving Excellence for All’, has been coproduced with schools, colleges and other education settings, businesses, unions and governors. It lays out Somerset’s ambitions and priorities for education until 2020, identifying its current strengths and where it wants to improve.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “The aim of Somerset’s vision for education is to open up opportunities for children and young people, and support their ambitions for their future.

“A colossal amount has been achieved by Somerset’s schools and education providers. In April 2016 nearly 92% of Somerset’s schools were rated good or better by Ofsted, up from 84% in 2015. The county now ranks 20th out of 152 authorities for its schools, and nearly 60% of Somerset’s pupils achieved the headline five A-C grade GCSEs* (including English and Maths) which is above the national average, and I commend schools and their pupils for their hard work.

“However we want and need to see further improvements. Over the next four years we are determined to continue to champion better educational outcomes at primary level and for all vulnerable children and teenagers, and support work to see more young people stay in education, employment or training. I look forward to working closely with our schools and colleges, and their networks to make sure this happens.”

The priorities in the strategy include:
• Ensuring there is quality and consistency in how learning, education and training is provided, from Early Years to post-16
• Helping the most vulnerable learners reach their potential and succeed
• Reaching out to local communities, businesses, providers and universities
• Empowering children and young people to make the best choices about their own futures
• Giving children, young people and families a greater say in the services that affect them, and designing new ways of working, with their input
• Working with the best Early Years settings and schools to lead the way and help others improve
• Promoting innovation and creativity in teaching, learning and the curriculum
• Ensuring that children, young people and families are able to access the right services at the right time, and the right place.

The vision document also reinforces the Council’s changing role in education today, as an organisation exclusively driving high standards, facilitating new partnerships and supporting providers to achieve better outcomes.

You can find the Vision documents by following this link: http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/council/meetings/reports.asp?item=1305