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New efforts launched to tackle social mobility through education

13/07/2017 Joanna

New initiatives are being launched by the government to tackle barriers to social mobility and help pupils from all backgrounds to excel.

It has been confirmed that the £75 million Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund - which will be invested in high-quality professional development for teachers and leaders working in challenging areas - will begin distribution this year, with an initial round of £20 million to be allocated to programmes starting in September.

An additional £10 million is being set aside from the fund for teachers and leaders in challenging schools to take part in the new-look National Professional Qualifications to enhance leadership standards within these schools, which will help to tackle regional inequalities in educational outcomes.

It has also been confirmed that the Careers & Enterprise Company will be collaborating with 40 national and local cornerstone employers to prepare pupils for the world of work at more than 260 secondary schools and colleges in designated Opportunity Areas, with children aged between 11 and 18 to receive tailored careers support.

Finally, a group of 11 new Research Schools have been named by the Education Endowment Foundation, with these establishments acting as local centres of excellence. They will work with schools in Opportunity Areas to deliver evidence-based approaches to tackling social mobility and provide resources for teachers.

Existing Research Schools have already developed programmes to help schools make the most of teaching assistants, as well as offering training to support early-years literacy and backing to develop Research School leads.

Education secretary Justine Greening said: "I believe now we absolutely need to fix social mobility, and make sure it happens. And make sure this is a country where there are no barriers to anybody becoming the best that they can be."

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