Ben Bradley MP has welcomed the fact that education will be at the heart of major new reforms set to give every child and adult the skills they need to fulfil their potential, no matter where they live.
Through the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, Nottinghamshire is one of 55 areas set to benefit from improved schools as part of a package of measures that will also boost take-up of high-quality training across England and support stable families that help children to succeed. Ben has consistently fought for this package and used his position as a Further Education Ambassador at the Department for Education to highlight the importance these measures would have in areas like Nottinghamshire.
The plans being published tomorrow (Wednesday 2 February) will identify 55 cold spots of the country where school outcomes are the weakest, to target investment, support and action that help children from all backgrounds and areas to succeed at the very highest levels.
As 95 per cent of these areas are outside London and the South East, it is the struggling schools of the North, Midlands, East of England and South West that will be receiving much more support over the next decade.
In these new ‘Education Investment Areas’, the Department for Education will offer retention payments to help schools keep the best teachers in the highest priority subjects. These areas will be prioritised as the location for new specialist sixth form free schools where there is limited provision to ensure talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to the highest standard of education this country offers.
Schools in these areas that have been judged less than Good in successive Ofsted inspections could be moved into strong multi-academy trusts, to attract more support and the best teachers. This will be subject to a consultation in the spring.
The paper will set a new national mission to ensure that 90 per cent of children leaving primary school in England are reaching the expected standard in reading, writing, and maths by 2030. In 2019, just 65 per cent of pupils met all three standards, with the proportion substantially varying across the country.
Schools in the Education Investment Areas will also be given support to address wider issues. For instance, schools struggling with attendance will be encouraged to join a new pilot programme to tackle the issue.
Commenting, Ben Bradley MP said:
“Fantastic news this morning that Nottinghamshire will get access to extra funding and support for education. I’m delighted that we’re one of 55 areas to have been selected to help improve opportunities and outcomes for the most vulnerable.
“Meanwhile the Supporting Families programme will get almost 50% extra funding to help those individuals and families with the most complex issues and service needs, and a National Youth Guarantee will support young people to take part in what I often call 'cultural capital' activities, like regular clubs and activities, school trips and adventures away from home.
“What a fantastic way to preview tomorrow's scheduled 'Levelling Up' announcements, with a tonne of new investment and support for disadvantaged children and families across Mansfield and Notts!”