A NATIONAL education boss saw first-hand the good work being done in Bolton to raise standards.
Schools’ commissioner Dr Elizabeth Sidwell, who is charged with raising standards in the country’s schools, visited Bolton School, Sharples High School and Essa Academy in Great Lever.
She was invited by Bolton School and Sharples School headteachers Philip Britton and Rachel Quesnel, but took the opportunity to see how state and independent schools work together.
Dr Sidwell said she would report back her findings to her department. She said: “I have been very impressed with what I have heard. It is about schools working together which is mutually beneficial and celebrating that. My role is to tackle underperforming schools, but it is important to see how good schools work.
Dr Sidwell added: “Independent schools do have more resources which are being shared, but it is good teachers and a good governing body which are important in raising standards.”
She wants independent schools to sponsor academies, but Mr Britton said he was keen to show how his school works in partnership with other schools to raise standards in areas such as sport, music and learning. Mr Britton said: “It is our belief that by interacting with all schools, and not specifically with one school, that more young children in Bolton and the surrounding region can benefit from our facilities and expertise.
“If we were to focus all our efforts on one school then many others would miss out on what we offer.”
Sharples headteacher Mrs Quesnel said she was proud to showcase her school, which celebrated record GCSE results last summer, making it the highest-achieving community school in the borough.
She said: “We are very proud of the journey which Sharples has made over the last few years.”
Margaret Asquith, Bolton director of children’s services, said: “It is fantastic to be able to show how schools work in collaboration.”