Changes to school-to-school improvement to be tested in up to nine areas of the country.

High performing schools in England are set to provide a new way to help struggling counterparts make the most of their resources, boost professional development opportunities for teachers, and recruit and retain staff.

The Department for Education has today (24 May 2019) set out plans to launch a £2m pilot to simplify how the Government supports underperforming schools.

This builds on the successes of the Teaching Schools and National Leaders of Education programmes by tasking them to lead nine Teaching School Hubs across the country, to simplify and strengthen the way schools support each other to improve.

More than 2,000 struggling schools will benefit from a three-year programme of support to drive up standards with each Hub supporting 200 to 300 schools, giving them access to the expertise of some of the country’s highest performing school leaders.

The scheme will be tested in areas including Sheffield, Bromley, Northamptonshire and Bradford, from Autumn 2019 – with the application window now open – ahead of a proposed national roll-out of Teaching School Hubs in 2020/21.

Minister for the Schools System Lord Agnew said:

We want to ensure our best system leaders are able to support struggling schools in a way that is most efficient and beneficial for all.

Each of the hubs will act as the centre point of an area’s school improvement offer, which will be shared across the region, with schools most in need benefiting the most from these reforms through the improved levels of consistency and quality in the support they receive.

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A clear, transparent and accountable system of school-to-school support is essential to the maintaining the high standards that we are already seeing in today’s school system.

Today’s announcement builds on the launch of the first-ever integrated recruitment and retention strategy, underscoring the Government’s commitment to review the current system of school leadership.

To complement the launch, the Department for Education has also published a research report on school-to-school support, that sets out there is still more to learn about the effectiveness of partnerships and collaborations which the Teaching School Hubs ‘test-and-learn’ will help to address.

Richard Gill, Teaching Schools Council Chair said:

We believe that Teaching School Hubs will empower the system to build on the excellent work that is already taking place in many parts of the country, and ensure there is even stronger, collaborative provision to meet any given local need.

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