LABOUR’S main man on education says he wants to introduce standards directors to ensure schools share their secrets of success.
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt MP is demanding frank discussions between education bosses about what schools are able to achieve and where support is needed.
Mr Hunt spoke out during a visit to Dudley’s most successful school, Ellowes Hall Sports College, Stickley Lane, which is rated as outstanding by Ofsted.
Mr Hunt said: “It is incumbent on outstanding schools to share their excellence with other schools, I want schools to co-operate and collaborate amongst each other.
“Where there is excellence locally we need to find the mechanism and systems to share it, which is why the Labour Party wants directors of school standards, effectively schools commissioners, at a local level to make sure we have these relationships between schools.
"School leaders need to know where their strengths and weaknesses are.”
Dudley North MP Ian Austin, who arranged today's (June 19) visit to Ellowes Hal by Mr Hunt, says education should be the top priority to bring investment and jobs to north Dudley and parents should demand high standards.
He highlighted Ellowes Hall’s significant improvements as a lesson for other schools and Dudley’s Local Education Authority (LEA) to learn.
Mr Austin said: “The question for other schools is, if this can happen at Ellowes, why isn’t it happening at other schools in Dudley.
“What the council has got to understand is we are as good as anyone - kids in Dudley are as good as any. Some schools have thrived under LEA control, the question is why hasn’t every school thrived?”
Ellowes Hall is sharing its experience by forming a four-academy trust with Crestwood School in Kingswinford, Edgecliff High School in Kinver and Ounsdale High School in Wombourne.
Ellowes Hall head teacher Andy Griffiths rejected suggestions he should share his success closer to home by looking to team up with neighbouring schools.
Mr Griffiths said: “Those schools would have to want to be part of it, I think they are in a different place.”
Labour MP Ian Austin added: “Andy has been determined to share his expertise with as many local schools as possible, the LEA should be learning from what happens here.
“The results at Ellowes show that our schools can do just as well as any in the country. I think we should set a target for Dudley and the Black Country to have the biggest improvement in schools standards in the country.”