On Monday, Education Secretary Damien Hinds announced the cash package, which aims to tackle the disparity between the region’s high performing primaries and struggling secondary schools, as well as to improve aspirations towards top universities and vocational qualifications. The Chronical Live reports.
Sarah Holmes-Carne is head teacher at Kenton School, one of the largest schools in the region, where more than 48% of pupils claim free school meals.
She said she was “delighted” by the announcement, which she said was a credit to the lobbying work done by local teachers, lead by education charity and lobbying group Schools North East.
“It is great to hear that the Primary Schools in the North East are being recognised as national leaders in education and the Government is recognizing the challenges faced by schools who have a high percentage of disadvantaged white boys of which the school I serve, Kenton is one,” she said.
She welcomed the news that half of the £24m would be ploughed into teacher training – but warned it must be used wisely, to keep the most skilled educators in the region.
Mike Parker, Schools North East director, said: “This is a great first step to changing outcomes for children across the North East of England. Developing this as a region-wide initiative is an intelligent move and the Department for Education needs to use all the regional structures to ensure it is a success.”
Northern Powerhouse Partnership vice-chair Lord Jim O’Neill said: “The involvement of business is a particularly welcome step, due to the need to focus on getting young people ready for good-quality, highly-skilled jobs when they leave education and close the significant disadvantage gap in education that is resulting in a Northern Powerhouse economic problem.”
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