Isle of Wight Council Leader, Cllr Dave Stewart

The Isle of Wight Council has announced plans to “drive up the quality of teaching, curriculum and leadership” in regards to education on the island.

The news comes after a report by the Educational Policy Institute found that secondary school pupils on the Isle of Wight are “well over two years behind their peers”. 

A plan calling for school improvement- titled Delivering Educational Excellence– has already been published by the Council in June. This details how they plan to make all island schools ‘good or outstanding’ over the next four years.

Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Councillor Dave Stewart, acknowledges that the plan will be hard to achieve but is adamant they can make a success of it:

“This is an ambitious target, but we are determined to deliver for all our children, including those who are disadvantaged. As the new Conservative administration of the Isle of Wight Council, elected in May, we have acknowledged that in the past our children have been badly let down.”

Councillor Stewart also says they will accomplish their targets by improving specific aspects of the island’s education:

“We will achieve this objective by being relentless in getting right the fundamentals, driving up the quality of teaching, curriculum and leadership. We are confident that we now have the necessary expertise and capacity through our officer colleagues from Hampshire who oversee our schools. Indeed, our Hampshire officers recently worked with Ofsted to feed in their experience to a new toolkit on working with disadvantaged children, which has been sent to every school in Southern England. They will also shortly be launching with us an intense project, focussing on disadvantage, that has been developed using national research.”

Councillor Stewart says that their response is far from complacent, stating that they have inherited a “grim situation” and will do their utmost to deliver “the overdue and necessary improvements.”