Seventeen reasons to be proud

IT saddens me to see that good news about local education authorities is given so little coverage by the TES.

Is there so much good news about LEAs that it is only the bad news stories that merit extensive coverage? Both Wandsworth and York can be justifiably proud of their OFSTED reports. The spirit of open honest dialogue, critical thinking, the will to tackle difficult issues in partnership and just plain hard work comes though in both reports.

In York, we believe improvement is best achieved through celebration, encouragement and a positive attitude. Success wherever it is should be celebrated and the media have a critical role to play.

OFSTED noted that constructive collaboration between members of the education committee and senior officers was a key

to the overall success of the authority.

Since you have only listed five of our strengths, as well as both of our weaknesses, I set outall 17 for the record: the allocation of resources to priorities; consultation with schools and other partners; collaboration with other services and agencies; support for school governors; support to schools in the use of performance data; support for literacy; support for school management; support for special educational needs co-ordinators and learning support assistants; support for pupils with no school place; support for school attendance; behaviour support for schools: support for looked-after children; measures to combat social exclusion; support for performing arts; support for early years; financial support; human resources support.

This is very much a team effort and involves proactive work by a large number of people in schools and the central teams whose efforts day in and day out make the difference.

Michael Peters

Director of educational services

City of York Council

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