Education Secretary Justine Greening

Justine Greening addresses teachers at Teach First conference.

Education Secretary Justine Greening addressed an audience of 4,000 teachers today (24 October 2017) and urged them to work with her to give every child the same opportunity to fulfil their ambition.

In a speech at the Teach First conference at Wembley Arena, Justine Greening set out plans to help pupils from all backgrounds reach their full potential and highlighted the pivotal role teachers have to play in boosting social mobility.

She also used the speech to provide further detail on 2 new initiatives aimed at ensuring schools can recruit and retain the very best teachers, building on the government’s wider programme of support. She announced:

  • the 25 areas across England, which include Bradford, Derby and Salford, selected to run a pilot programme to reimburse student loan repayments for modern foreign languages and science teachers in the early years of their careers
  • 2 new projects that will receive a share of the £75 million Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund. These projects will help provide tailored training opportunities for teachers on both managing challenging pupil behaviour and developing leadership, so they can make the most of their talent in the classroom

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

I want to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity to achieve their ambitions, regardless of where they are growing up or their background. It’s great news that there are 1.8 million more children in schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ than there were in 2010 and the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers is narrowing.

But we know there is more to do – particularly in parts of the country that are at risk of falling behind. Our 12 opportunity areas are central to this. Working together with schools, councils, local businesses and other organisations, this programme is looking at ways to give all children the best start in life.

Great teachers help unlock children’s talents and Teach First is already playing a key role by recruiting top graduates with the potential to become excellent teachers in some of our most challenging schools. I look forward to continuing to work with them to broaden horizons for all young people.

These announcements follow the recent confirmation of a number of measures to recruit and retain more great teachers, including a new phased maths bursary and a £30 million investment to provide tailored support to some of the schools facing the most significant recruitment and retention challenges.

Teach First CEO, Russell Hobby, also spoke at the event and urged the teaching profession to “go further, working alongside schools, the government, businesses and communities – with a collective will to create a country where the opportunities are available for all”.

The 2 projects that will receive a share of the £75 million Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund are Tom Bennett Training and EdisonLearning.

Jerry Baker, Managing Director EdisonLearning on behalf of EdisonLearning and NAHT said:

We are delighted that the success of the NAHT Aspire Programme has been recognised in the award of the TLIF contract. We look forward to continuing this success with the TLIF schools and building new Aspire networks across the country over the next 2 years.

Tom Bennett, Director of Tom Bennett Training, said:

Good behaviour is fundamental to every outcome we value in education: academic outcomes, social skills, employability, citizenship, creativity, critical thinking, and more. Teachers and leaders can make a huge difference by creating fantastic cultures in their rooms and schools where learning, civility and community are valued.

Our training offers school staff the tools to do exactly that, in ways that have been tested in some of the best schools in the UK and beyond.

The local authorities covered by the student loan reimbursement pilot are: Barnsley; Blackpool; Bracknell Forest; Bradford; Cambridgeshire; Derby; Derbyshire; Doncaster; Halton; Knowsley; Luton; Middlesbrough; Norfolk; North East Lincolnshire; North Yorkshire; Northamptonshire; Northumberland; Oldham; Peterborough; Portsmouth; Salford; Sefton; St. Helens; Stoke-on-Trent; and Suffolk.

Around 800 modern foreign language and 1,700 science teachers a year will be eligible for this pilot scheme. For a teacher on £29,000, the new student loan repayments pilot and the increased student loan repayment threshold of £25,000 will mean £720 cash in pocket. This is the equivalent of an approximate £1,000 increase in salary.

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