Berwick Academy to get support from Government fund

Berwick Academy is to benefit from the support of a new Government fund to drive up standards.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 3:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 3:57 pm
Berwick Academy

Details of the Opportunity North East (ONE) initiative were set out by Schools Minister Lord Agnew at a summit of schools, education experts, head teachers, business and university leaders in Middlesbrough today.

He revealed that £24m is being invested through the programme to drive up the academic achievements of children and young people in the region. It aims to unlock talent, boost social mobility and raise aspirations.

While the North East has some of the best performing primary schools in the country, secondary school performance is below other regions, with fewer 18 year olds attending top universities than from any other part of the country.

Opportunity North East wants to redress this imbalance.

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Cath McEvoy-Carr, executive director of adult social care and children’s services at Northumberland County Council is on the strategic board for Opportunity North East.

She said: “This is extremely welcome investment in improving attainment, raising aspirations and tackling the barriers that prevent young people from attending the best universities.

“In Northumberland the Government appointed team will be working in four of our schools, with secondary age children, helping to drive up standards and improve outcomes for children at GCSE.

“For those involved in the programme there will be kick off meetings and diagnosis before delivery begins within the schools.”

Coun Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at the council said: “This is further very welcome investment in support for schools in our region and county - coming on the back of the announcement earlier this week about new school places for SEND children.

“We want to ensure that all children in Northumberland, as well as in the wider North of Tyne area, have access to the best possible education.

“This fund will enable work within schools to improve the transition from primary to secondary school, encourage more young people to consider university, or degree apprenticeships, work with local businesses to improve job prospects and boost training for teachers.

“In Northumberland we are working with all schools on school improvement and wish to develop local solutions to meet local needs. As a council we want what is in the best for all young people in Northumberland regardless of whether they attend an academy or a maintained school.”

The 30 ‘ONE Vision Schools’ will receive:

Expert guidance from education leaders, bespoke to the needs of each individual school, to improve standards; and

A high-performing partner school, which has a track record in turning around underperforming schools with similar characteristics to those, to provide support and share best practice.

The Duke’s Secondary School at Ashington, part of the Northumberland Church of England Academy, will also benefit from the initiative. The Blyth Academy and James Calvert Spence College are also expected to be part of the programme.