Headlines: April 21st, 2005

Local businesses, community organisations and other agencies will join Bristol City Council today to launch a citywide commitment to raising achievement in education. The initiative will see the member bodies of the Bristol Partnership working with educational partners across the city.

Around 400 people, including headteachers, chairs of governors and business representatives, will take the part in a special event – ‘A Whole City -Raising Achievement Together’ – oganised by the Partnership.

The event has five main aims. It will introduce new partnership arrangements designed to ensure that everyone’s contribution has the maximum impact for young people. It will establish a shared improvement agenda and priorities for action as well as recognising the hard work already been put in by so many people in the city’s education service. The fourth aim is to demonstrate a powerful citywide commitment to raising achievement and support for schools and finally the event has been set up to inspire public confidence in Bristol’s education service.

Bristol’s, Director of Education and Children’s Services, Heather Tomlinson, said that Ofsted inspections had shown Bristol has some excellent schools and tremendous amounts of good practice among teachers, staff, governors and education partners. It was also clear that across the city there were many people and organisations working hard to support schools, children and young people.

But she added, “Despite all this hard work and dedication, standards overall are not improving fast enough, causing parents and the community to lose confidence. This is an unacceptable situation for us all in Bristol.”

The time was right, she said, to refocus efforts on the things that would have the greatest impact on achievement and to spread the good practice that already existed as well as harnessing wider community commitment in the transformation of learning and achievement. “By working together with our partners – and the whole community – putting all our efforts into a small number of key priorities, we can create an education service to be proud of,” she said.

The Bristol Partnership involves representatives of the community, business, local government and public agencies working together to drive forward Bristol’s strategic agenda. Its key priorities are higher educational achievement, economic development, promoting better health, tackling crime and inequality, protecting the environment and regenerating neighbourhoods.