Isle of Wight
THE Isle of Wight's education authority provides schools with effective support and has more strengths than weaknesses, inspectors have found, writes Sarah Cassidy.
The Office for Standards in Education said that the authority was aware of its weaknesses and had, for the most part, developed promising strategies for improvement.
Officers had won the trust and goodwill of schools and, with more support from councillors, would be capable of resolving any problems.
The small size of the island and easy access to officers allowed schools to receive a rapid and effective service, inspectors said.
But the physical separation of the island, coupled with costly ferry crossings, created a sense of isolation which had affected teaching standards and morale.
Coupled with a high degree o stability of staffing, this had contributed to complacency and low expectations in some schools which was proving difficult to shift, inspectors noted.
The authority was starting to challenge pupil underachievement more vigorously and officers were now keen to intervene in schools before problems became critical.
However, councillors were not involved early enough in the decision-making process and in monitoring of spending.
support for weak schools
training in the analysis and use of performance data
support for heads
monitoring of schools
numeracy and literacy support
management of school places and asset management planning
personnel, premises and
financial services for schools
corporate and strategic
support for some key aspects of special needs
provision of education outside school