The Yorkshire Post is reporting calls for Yorkshire to try to repeat the success of the City Challenge programme in London to transform the region’s exam results.
…In London’s City Challenge education experts were given the job of supporting struggling schools with major cash backing from the Government.
It also encouraged collaboration between schools to help deliver improvements.
Now Professor Alan Smithers has become the latest to call for Yorkshire to do something on a similar scale to improve its school results.
Yorkshire councils have already launched a pilot school improvement programme – the Pathfinder Initiative – which involves around 50 schools but there are questions over how anything larger could be funded.
At its peak The City Challenge received £40m funding a year – with funding ‘in-kind’ packages of support for underperforming schools, jointly brokered by an expert adviser and officials in the Department for Education.The latest GCSE results show that despite improving Yorkshire still had the highest number of exams graded below a C of any region in England. There were 65.3 per cent of exams graded at A* to C.
Although this meant Yorkshire was the second most improved area in the country it also meant the region’s schools were collectively still the worst performers nationally…
Prof Smithers from Buckingham University’s Centre for Centre for Education and Employment Research said: “I think what Yorkshire needs is a concerted effort like the London Challenge which has made a real difference…”
Lots of regions are being called upon to follow the model of the London Challenge, but how viable is it, especially if what that really means is having the extra funding that was on offer?
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