Important update on Laurence Jackson School

Parents and pupils across Guisborough will be concerned this morning about Ofsted’s report on Laurence Jackson School.

I have arranged to meet the Head Teacher and Chairman of Governors next Friday, as well as Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.

Laurence Jackson is the second East Cleveland secondary school to be judged Inadequate by Ofsted this year, and this report must drive urgent and widespread improvement. As well as my meeting with the school, I have applied for a debate in Parliament.

It is really encouraging that Ofsted specifically note that since the appointment of Ms Juckes as Head Teacher in September, leaders now have an appropriate focus on the key priorities for improvement, and that will be the main focus of our meeting. I also want to talk about some specific concerns like how well the school uses pupil premium and SEND funding.

As someone who is married to a teacher, I know how hard teachers work to support their pupils. This is NOT about having a go at the staff of the school, but it *is* about being brave enough to make all the changes that are required to allow local children to succeed.

One of my top priorities as East Cleveland’s MP is to ensure all our young people fulfil their potential. There is nothing inevitable about these problems: Outwood Academy Bydales in Marske was rated Outstanding in all categories in 2018, and Nunthorpe Academy is likewise rated Good.

On the same note, we have some of the top performing primary schools in the country. Our focus needs to be on maintaining that progress at secondary level.

It’s for that reason that I brought the Education Secretary to Guisborough last February to meet local Head Teachers, and why I welcomed the £24 million announced in October for ‘Opportunity North East’, a programme focused on raising standards in four of our local authorities including Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland.

We need to champion high standards in local education relentlessly and I will post a further update after my meeting next week.