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News - January/February 2018

New Education Secretary unveils plans to drive up standards

Damian Hinds, new Secretary of State for Education, has unveiled a package of measures to support underperforming schools in disadvantaged areas across the country.

The measures include:

  • More than £45million awarded to successful multi-academy trusts to help tackle underperformance and improve schools in areas that lack capacity;
  • 75 projects sharing £25million to provide more support for schools, many of which will increase pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills; and
  • The publication of the next six Opportunity Area plans in Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Education Secretary, who attended St Ambrose Grammar School, Altrincham before completing a degree in politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University, said: “I want all children to get a truly world-class education that not only inspires them to make the most of their lives but also gives them the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions, no matter where they live.

“Standards are rising in schools across the country but there is more to do to make sure that every child benefits from the progress we’ve already made thanks to an incredibly talented generation of teachers. By supporting good and outstanding schools to help others improve, and focusing on disadvantaged areas where our young people need extra help, we can continue to make a difference to people’s everyday lives and build a Britain that’s fit for the future.”

As part of the Multi-Academy Trust Development and Improvement Fund, announced in October 2017, over £45million will support multi-academy trusts to drive improvement. The money will go to more than 400 multi-academy trusts (MATs) with a proven record to help them build their capacity so they can help drive further improvements and raise standards.

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