The Department for Education (DfE) has unveiled plans to launch a £2m pilot aimed at simplifying how the government supports struggling schools in England.
The initiative builds on the successes of the Teaching Schools and National Leaders of Education programmes by calling on them to head up nine Teaching School Hubs across England, which will streamline and strengthen the ways in which schools support one another.
As part of the pilot, high-performing schools will provide a new way to help their under-performing counterparts better utilise resources, improve teacher development opportunities and recruit and retain staff.
Over 2,000 under-performing schools will be able to take advantage of the ‘programme of support,’ lasting three years, to drive up standards within their institutions. Each of the nine Hubs will provide support to between 200 and 300 schools, granting them access to the expertise of some of the country’s top school leaders.
The pilot scheme, launching from autumn this year, will be rolled out in locations including Bromley, Bradford and Sheffield. Applications are now open, with the full, national roll-out of Teaching School Hubs expected in 2020/21.
“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,” acknowledged Lord Agnew, Minister for the Schools System.
“A clear, transparent and accountable system of school-to-school support is essential to maintaining the high standards that we are already seeing in today’s school system,” he added.
This announcement from the DfE comes in the wake of the launch of the very first integrated recruitment and retention strategy, highlighting the government's commitment to reviewing the system of school leadership that currently exists.
To back the launch, the DfE has published a report on school-to-school support which stresses that there is still much to learn regarding how effective partnerships and collaborations are. Yet, this is something the Teaching Schools Hubs’ ‘test-and–learn’ will help to address.
Richard Gill, Teaching Schools Council Chair commented: “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.”
What are your thoughts on this initiative? Share them here.