More than a third of Suffolk’s schools to benefit from new funding partnership

More than a third of Suffolk’s publicly funded schools have been awarded funding through a new £600,000 partnership between Suffolk County Council’s Raising the Bar programme and the nationally renowned Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). The partnership aims to boost the attainment of pupils by bringing the best education research to the county.

Suffolk schools were invited to bid for money from the Challenge Fund to use for projects that have been evaluated by the EEF and have shown promise in raising educational attainment elsewhere in the country.

The additional cash will enable the successful schools to implement different programmes covering mathematics, reading and writing, and science. Some focus on developing effective teaching strategies, while others are aimed at students who are at risk of not reaching their potential by providing focused additional support.

Suffolk schools responded positively to the opportunity and a total of more than 120 schools have been offered funding to train a total of more than 600 school staff.

Tracy McKenzie, Headteacher at Britannia Primary School in Ipswich, said; “I am delighted to receive £2,137.50 funding from the Challenge Fund towards implementing the Philosophy 4 Children Programme.

“I have been passionate about Philosophy for Children for a number of years. More recently, I have read the EEF research that evidences the impact it has on children’s educational, personal and social development, particularly for disadvantaged pupils, so I was thrilled to hear that Suffolk County Council, through the Raising the Bar Programme were working with the EEF to jointly fund this programme for interested schools.

“This funding provides 50% of the costs of the first year of the programme, helping us to launch it across the school through 2 days of training for our 25 teachers and ongoing support throughout the year from our P4C trainer, benefitting all 675 pupils at Britannia Primary School, from Nursery through to Year 6.”

Lorna Rourke and April Grimes, Joint Headteachers of Forest and Elveden Academy, said; “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to participate in IPEEL and Accelerated Reader as part of the Challenge fund and to receive £1,085 and £998 respectively. Elveden Academy will be participating in the IPEEL project whilst Forest Academy will embark on Accelerated Reader. We will be using the funding to really drive improvement in Literacy across both schools. 126 students and our whole teaching team will benefit as a result. We are really excited to see the results.”

Cllr Gordon Jones, County Council Cabinet Member for Education & Skills said; “The goal of our Raising the Bar programme is to ensure every child in Suffolk can reach their full potential. Real progress is being made to achieve this and by working with the Education Endowment Foundation we have capitalised on its experience of effective approaches to provide an easy route of access to some of the best educational programmes available.”

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the EEF said; “We know that using evidence to inform teaching can help schools spend their money more effectively and make a real difference to attainment. I’m delighted that our new partnership with Suffolk County Council is allowing local schools to adopt programmes that have already been shown to get results. We hope that the new fund will help to create a lasting legacy of evidence-based practice in schools across Suffolk.”

Over the last two years, almost £600,000 has already been invested in helping schools improve education in Suffolk by funding interventions and approaches put forward and developed by schools. The new fund will support more disciplined innovation, where schools are financially incentivised to implement evidence-based programmes and interventions.