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New report highlights need for more teachers in north of England

29/11/2016 Joanna

Educational standards in the north of England could be improved with a new teaching recruitment push, according to a new report.

Dixons Academies chief executive Sir Nick Weller has published the findings of a report commissioned by former chancellor George Osborne, which was designed to explore why there is a particular concentration of educational underperformance in the north, while also making recommendations to raise standards of attainment.

According to the analysis, teacher effectiveness was deemed to be the most important determinant of pupil outcomes, underlining the need for fresh efforts to bolster the supply of staff in northern England to better take account of local needs.

This could include the launch of a "Teach North" scheme to attract and retain newly-qualified teachers in disadvantaged schools across the region, as well as marketing initiatives to help highlight the benefits of doing so.

Other recommendations included accelerating the growth of multi-academy trusts in the north to help raise standards, share good practice models between multiple schools, and drive better recruitment policies.

Additionally, the Department of Education was called upon to conduct further research into the performance gap in deprived northern areas such as former mining towns, coastal towns or rural areas, while highlighting the work done by the schools that have been most successful in closing this gap.

Specific adjustments to school curriculums may be needed in northern schools in order to help primary-level students who are falling behind to catch up to the expected standard of performance.

Sir Nick said: "As school leaders in the north, we need to do a better job of learning from and replicating success stories locally as well as from elsewhere in the country."

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