What we do

Why we do what we do

We believe in the transformative power of education and the right of every Suffolk Child and Young Person to have an education as good as the best that meets their current and future needs to enable them to engage successfully and confidently in the next stage in their learning, able to make choices about their futures and preparing them for a successful, happy and fulfilled adult life. 


The highest standards, as good as the best, for all Suffolk Children and Young People today and for their futures.


Working with Suffolk school and setting leaders, we champion Suffolk’s Children and Young People. We use evidence to inform evaluation and action to secure continuous improvement in the quality of education so that it meets all pupils’ current and future needs.

A team of Regional Leads lead and manage the work of the Standards and Excellence Partners who are each deployed to a caseload of schools and work with school leaders to support them with their leadership of their school’s improvement.

Officers work with leaders in all maintained schools on a bespoke and regular basis to support them with their school improvement work. This support is funded by the Local Authority (LA) as part of its commitment to working with the leaders and governing bodies of all schools. The frequency and number of visits, funded by the LA, is flexible and based on evidence dependent on need.

Standards and Excellence support is also offered to academies. Many academy trusts choose to take up this offer to complement their trust level school improvement work.

Through support and challenge, officers will aim to:

  • assist school leaders in their work to continually improve their schools’ standards and prevent decline
  • support leaders to enable improvements to be sustained and built on
  • validate strengths and confirm priorities through the gathering of clear evidence
  • work with leaders using a solution-focused approach, leading to effective actions being taken

Typical activities

Standards and Excellence Partner visits will take the form of a combination of face-to-face and virtual visits, with the content and type of visits agreed between the Standards and Excellence Partner and school leaders. Support is flexible, and activities in visits will vary according to need. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • Feedback on the school’s self-evaluation, evidence and key strengths and priorities linked to the Ofsted education inspection framework.
  • Discussion and feedback on the School Development Plan (SDP) and school improvement planning process.
  • Joint learning walks.
  • Joint book looks.
  • Pupil perception activities.
  • Facilitating discussions with school senior and middle leaders.
  • Analysis of school data and interrogation of trends
  • Facilitating headteacher networking opportunities for LA maintained and academy schools, both within localities and across the County.
  • Working with headteachers of LA maintained and academy schools to facilitate subject leader and senior leader networks, focused on specific subjects or topics identified by school or setting leaders.
  • Facilitating school to school support so that the most effective practice can be shared across the County.
  • Facilitate projects that provide guidance to leaders when supporting specific groups of pupils, for example, pupils with English as an additional language.
  • Governance: Suffolk County Council is committed to strengthening governance, with a specific focus on the LA maintained schools in the county. As such, all Standards and Excellence Partners will allocate time each term to work directly with governors in LA maintained schools. It is an expectation that all schools working with Standards and Excellence Partners will involve governors in some visits during the year. As with other Standards and Excellence Partners visits, work with governors will be bespoke to the needs of the school, including evaluating governor monitoring, minutes or challenge in meetings. Governors may also take part in any of the activities above, along with the Standards and Excellence Partner, to help strengthen their own understanding of the school and ways in which their own monitoring can be conducted.

For more information, Regional Lead in Education.