Schools minister David Laws yesterday (January 16th) announced details of government measures to raise standards in struggling schools, including the 'talented leaders' programme.
In a speech to the North of England Education conference, the minister gave details of several areas in which the government aims to make improvements.
Mr Laws lamented the fact that nearly four in ten children do not obtain five good GCSEs, including English and maths.
Claiming there is no "inevitable" link between poverty and poor performance, he announced a rise in the pupil premium to £935 for every secondary pupil, £1,300 for every primary pupil, and £1,900 for every child in care.
In addition, the removal of the A*-C level would ensure teachers focus on all students and not just those at the C/D borderline, he claimed.
Mr Laws said the best graduates are now entering the teaching profession, with many more graduate trainees now possessing a first-class or 2:1 degree than was the case under the previous government.
He also pledged to expand the Teach First programme, which will now place teachers in every one of England's regions. Reforms to initial teacher training to give schools a greater role in the selection and training of candidates for teaching jobs were also announced.
The minister also announced measures to ensure struggling schools attract the best possible staff, as part of the government's Talented Leaders programme. Within the scheme's first two years, 100 high-quality leaders will be matched with schools in need of improvement.
"This is not about parachuting in ‘hero heads’. The objective will be to ensure sustainable school improvement. We expect these headteachers to work with school staff to strengthen succession planning within their schools and to support the development of a long-term strategy to improve standards," he commented.
Mr Laws said the programme would help the most disadvantaged children and support the most ambitious leaders who want to take on a challenge make a difference.
Additionally, continuing professional development, flexible pay and evidence-based teaching will all be priorities for the coalition government.
Posted by Alan Douglas