A new initiative to place exceptional middle leaders in underperforming schools has been launched to raise standards in education.
Up to 100 middle leaders, such as heads of department, subject or year group heads, will spend a year in institutions that are not fulfilling their potential, including those in deprived, coastal and rural areas.
While on secondment, the middle leaders will share their knowledge of excellent teaching practice, diagnose problems and put in place an improvement plan to ensure progress is sustained.
As well as helping to raise standards, the scheme will give participants an opportunity for continuing professional development, enabling them to train the excellent school leaders of the future.
Schools minister David Laws said: "We want to encourage the movement of high-quality middle leaders to the areas which need it most, to help close the attainment gap and build a fairer society in which every child is able to reach their full potential."
The government has a wider ambition to establish a school-led system of improvement, in which strong institutions support others by sharing best practice, knowledge and experience and raise standards in all schools.
Last year, the coalition launched the Talented Leaders programme to recruit top-performing heads and aspiring heads to turn around some of England's most challenging schools. These individuals are to begin their work later this year.
In a further measure to tackle underperformance, the government has announced a £10 million boost for the school-to-school improvement fund in 2015, taking the total investment to more than £20 million over two years.
This funding will enable an existing pool of exceptional leaders to support underperforming institutions across the country while carrying out their duties in their own 'outstanding' schools.
Posted by Theo Foulds