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Government inspectors who visited Surrey schools encountered some of the best teaching they had ever seen, accordin...
Government inspectors who visited Surrey schools encountered some of the best teaching they had ever seen, according to the Ofsted report on the county council published this week.

The report, which follows a rigorous five month inspection of the education department, highlights the authority's many strengths and its innovative approaches to raising standards.

These include:

- high performance of Surrey schools including effective management and high quality of teaching which is at significantly higher standards than national averages

- provision of high quality services which enable schools to function effectively and focus on improvement

- excellent provision of information to schools to help them raise standards

- benefits schools receive from substantial funding of early years, primary education and special educational needs

- good relationships between the education department and schools who support the Department's priorities

Inspectors visited more than 40 schools and were impressed with teaching standards. There was praise too for the close links between schools and the county council's curriculum advisers.

Other strengths highlighted in the report include support for reading in primary schools, professional training for teachers, support for children with special needs, advisory support and the interest shown by councillors in school improvement.

The inspection report has also suggested a number of areas for development which will flow from forthcoming legislation, including a need to enhance the council's strategic planning, as well as providing the same consistently high quality of service to all the county council's 382 schools.

Director of education, Paul Gray, said: 'I am delighted that the report has praised the innovative work carried out by the LEA. We have pioneered systems which allow schools to measure children's progress. This then helps them to work on continuously improving the education for children.

'I am particularly pleased that the strong partnership we have developed with schools has been recognised.

'The feedback from the report has been very useful in helping us to plan the future development of the service and we are currently working on an action plan to implement Ofsted's suggestions which we will publish shortly.'

Chairman of the education committee, Andrew Povey, said: 'The inspection has been a valuable process for the LEA and the findings are welcomed. We are particularly pleased by the recognition given to the high quality work done by staff both in schools and in the department. The county council has continued to have education as its highest priority and this investment is clearly paying dividends.'

- The inspectors from Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) examined documentation, interviewed staff, sent a questionnaire to schools and visits to more than 40 schools and pupil referral units. Surrey CC educates more than 130,000 children a year.

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