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New fund to bolster London's teaching

13/02/2013 Joanna
Boris Johnson has launched a new fund designed to assist those in teaching jobs in London in improving standards in classrooms across the capital.

London's mayor announced that the £24 million London Schools Excellence Fund will support efforts to promote teaching excellence and raise achievement in English, literacy, numeracy and languages and in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.

In tandem with partners such as universities, independent schools, businesses and charities, schools will be able to apply funding for activities related to professional development for teachers and to spreading best practice.

One of the first schemes to be supported by the fund will be will be residential programmes for primary and secondary teachers aimed at deepening their subject knowledge, with the focus on maths and English for primary school teachers.

Furthermore, it will support the introduction of a new London Curriculum, which is designed to help schools adjust to the recently launched new National Curriculum, while at the same time also utilising the capital's "unique historical, cultural and scientific assets".

Mr Johnson said many of London's schools were already performing excellently and were unafraid of teaching "crunchy subjects" like maths and languages and that he wanted to see these standards spreading to all of the city's state schools.

He vowed: "The London Schools Excellence Fund is going to turbo-charge good ideas, empty out pockets of underachievement and - in the long term - ensure that outstanding teaching is the norm in all our state schools."

The establishment of this fund follows the year-long Mayor's Education Inquiry, which found that London's schools had been performing highly against the national average.

It revealed that 62 per cent of London's schoolchildren go on to achieve 5 GCSEs at A*- C, including in English and maths, compared to 58 per cent of all pupils in England.

Moreover, the fund will include financial support for the Leadership Club scheme launched by the mayor last month with the aim of improving the behaviour, self-discipline and educational achievement of over 1,000 underperforming pupils at 40 London schools.

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