Former head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw visited several Somerset schools this week (14 and 15 March) as part of ambitious plans to help improve education performance, drive forward high standards and give all Somerset children the best start in life.
Somerset County Council appointed Sir Michael Wilshaw and Loic Menzies, former Chief Executive of the Centre for Education and Youth, as their new Education External Advisers at the end of last year.
The experts will now use their unique experience and expertise to add value, act as a critical friend and present a national perspective and solutions, working with Somerset education leaders to raise standards across the board and help give Somerset children the best start in life.
Sir Michael started on Monday (14 March) with a visit to Lydeard St Lawrence Primary School in Taunton before moving onto Taunton School Academy for a tour and discussion with Head Teachers. Sir Michael’s visit then concluded with a visit to Robert Blake Science College in Bridgwater on Tuesday morning.
Sir Michael addressed each school to inspire staff and pupils around education’s power to benefit communities and individuals, before speaking to management and governors.
Robert Blake Science College Headteacher Deborah Loveridge was positive about the visit and his advice moving forward.
Cllr Clare Paul, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet member for Education and Public Health, said “Sir Michael Wilshaw is a respected and deeply experienced educator who will bring a wealth of knowledge to those he addressed on his visit. We’re looking forward to working with Sir Michael and Loic Menzies going forward, gaining their views and working alongside them to help ensure every child in Somerset has the very best education, support and experience.”
Sir Michael said “The Government’s Levelling Up agenda has put the spotlight on Somerset’s low educational standards. This is a real turning point for schools in the county. I am looking forward to working with schools and the local authority to galvanize action because it doesn’t have to be this way – in five years’ time I expect to see Somerset be a destination for some of the best state schools in the country.”