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Top heads to help turn around failing schools

25/10/2013 Kelly
The deputy prime minister has unveiled plans for leading head teachers to assist staff in education jobs at struggling schools to improve their institution's performance.

Earlier this year, Ofsted published a report indicating poorer pupils were faring worse educationally in generally affluent parts of the country and in rural and coastal districts than their counterparts attending inner city schools.

Referring to this finding, Nick Clegg argued there are weak and stalling schools in these areas who are failing pupils, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who could thrive if given the right support and attention.

He said good teachers within these institutions want to learn from better performing neighbouring schools and share best practice from their own classrooms, but are unsure of how to go about making this happen.

Some local authorities are already seeking to address these issues by helping to match schools in their area with good head teachers, while the government's 'similar schools' data is designed to help schools link up with and learn from outstanding schools facing similar circumstances to them.

In addition to this, Mr Clegg has announced the government will now be setting up "a sort of Champions League of head teachers", from which schools facing difficult circumstances can recruit new leaders with proven track records to help turn them around.

He asserted: "I want to ensure that more schools can benefit from the expertise of our best head teachers, so that we can build a fairer society in Britain where children in every region of our country can succeed."

Leading head teachers seeking a new challenge and deputy heads looking to take the next step in their career will be able to voluntarily join this pool of talent, with the government aiming for the first recruitments from this group to take place by September 2014.

Heads who participate will receive assistance with relocation and professional support in driving school improvement over a three-year period, although they may remain at their new school for more than three years if they so wish.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801653614-ADNFCR
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