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New government plans to bolster educational standards in disadvantaged areas

19/01/2018 Joanna

The government has announced new plans that aim to drive up standards in disadvantaged areas by supporting underperforming schools and increasing opportunities for students.

As part of these measures, more than £45 million will be delivered to help multi-academy trusts drive improvement, with over £30 million of this set to be targeted to around 300 academy trusts in areas facing the greatest challenges across England. In total, more than 400 trusts with proven records will benefit from the funding injection, helping them build capacity and drive further improvements.

Meanwhile, the latest round of the Strategic School Improvement Fund will provide £25 million to support 75 largely school-led initiatives aimed at helping more children from disadvantaged backgrounds, including students who require support in mastering the basics of reading and maths in primary school.

Additionally, the Department for Education is publishing its next six Opportunity Area plans, which are designed to narrow attainment gaps between the best and worst-performing schools in regions where social mobility is low. Recipients of this latest round of support include Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent.

This comes after a social mobility action plan was published by the government last December, focusing £800 million of resources on areas in need. All 12 Opportunity Areas will receive a share of £22 million to help young people develop life skills in resilience, wellbeing and employability.

Education secretary Damian Hinds said: "Standards are rising in schools across the country, but there is more to do to make sure that every child benefits from the progress we've already made thanks to an incredibly talented generation of teachers.

"By supporting good and outstanding schools to help others improve, and focusing on disadvantaged areas where our young people need extra help, we can continue to make a difference to people’s everyday lives and build a Britain that's fit for the future."

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