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Exceptional heads to improve challenging schools

11/09/2014 Joanna
England's most challenging schools are to get new "exceptional school leaders" in an effort to reverse their fortunes. 

The government's Talented Leaders programme is designed to match high-quality candidates with education establishments in need of strong characters to help them achieve academic excellence. 

The Department for Education (DfE) is looking for 100 heads to join the initiative. At present, schools in rural, coastal or deprived areas struggle to attract top-level candidates and the programme is hoping to address this problem. 

Top-performing or outstanding aspiring heads are being asked to get in touch with The Future Leaders Trust (TFLT) - the body that is running the scheme for the DfE - to express their interest. 

"The importance of high-quality leadership in our schools cannot be overstated," said schools minister David Laws. "We know there is a strong link between school leadership, quality of teaching, and outcomes for pupils."

Heads will be expected to work with a network of schools across a local area in an effort to drive improvements. The theory behind this is it allows more centres to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the country's best school leaders. 

The first cohort of talent will be in position by September 2015 and they are going to be targeting 13 areas where educational attainment has consistently been below expectations. These include Suffolk, Bradford and Blackpool. A second wave of appointments will be made 12 months later. 

Heath Monk, chief executive officer of TFLT, is clear about the importance of great headteachers when it comes to running successful schools. 

"Talented Leaders heads will join a nationwide network of exceptional school leaders, work together in local clusters and receive expert mentoring and ongoing development," he added.

The government has also announced £13 million in funding over the next two years for the School-to-School Support Fund.This money will be used to help schools in challenging circumstances to improve.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801747920-ADNFCR
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