Thursday, 11 September 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP speaks up for the “exceptional school leaders” in Basildon and Thurrock

Local MP Stephen Metcalfe yesterday spoke in Parliament about the importance of school leadership and brought the recent successes of local staff to the attention of the Minister for Schools.

Stephen Metcalfe speaking in Parliament yesterday
Stephen Metcalfe, speaking on the importance of education said: “Education is the foundation stone on which one’s future success is built. It is the base from which almost anything is possible and from which people can realise their full potential.

All that, is delivered by some truly dedicated and inspirational people who are found at every level of education in some truly excellent schools. Good education comes from good schools, which from my experience are led by good leaders.”

Stephen Metcalfe then went on to speak about local school staff saying: “In my constituency we are fortunate. We have some truly exceptional school leaders. Yes, it is true that education in Basildon and Thurrock has not always been as good as it could have been, but the leaders that we now have in place, and the support structures that surround them, will deliver, and are delivering, improving education for my constituents.”

There are too many good leaders to name them all, but I will pay tribute to a couple. First, I highlight the extraordinary dedication of Dr Sophina Asong, head teacher of Gable Hall school in Corringham. The area is like many others in the country, but unlike many areas—where the average proportion of five A* to C grades, including maths and English, is just under 60%—Gable Hall was pleased this year to achieve 74% with five A* to C grades, including maths and English.

I say “pleased” but the school was not satisfied; it knows it can do better, and Dr Asong and her incredible staff assure me that things will get better. I am sure we want to see such dedication and determination in all our schools.”

Stephen Metcalfe also paid tribute to the Executive principal of Woodlands School, Karen Kerridge, saying: “She took over the leadership at possibly the most difficult time that the school has ever faced. Less than a year after a disastrous Ofsted report, Karen has come in and worked tirelessly to turn the school around.

I am confident that under her leadership it may not be long before we once again have a “good” school, which would be entirely down to the fortitude and dedication of Karen and all her staff [including new head teacher Simon Cox].”

Stephen Metcalfe’s comments were well received by the Government Minister, who said: “I agree with his points about national education policy and the importance of good leadership and governance. He has many outstanding schools in his constituency, including Great Berry primary school, Lee Chapel primary school and the children’s support centre at Langdon Hills, which are all rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.”…“I join him in congratulating the schools whose success he celebrated.”

Stephen Metcalfe commented later in the day: “I was delighted to bring to the attention of Parliament, the hardworking schools and staff that we have in our constituency. If we are to provide our children with the education system they deserve, it is vital that we support our schools when they clearly are making a difference”