Multi-million pound fund to drive up standards in London schools

08:46 11 February 2013

Boris Johnson has announced a £24million fund to drive up standards in London

Boris Johnson has announced a £24million fund to drive up standards in London's schools. File picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Mayor of London has announced a £24million fund to help drive up standards in the capital’s schools.

The London Schools Excellence Fund, which is part-funded by the Department for Education (DfE), will support activities to promote teaching excellence and raise achievement in English, literacy, numeracy and languages, as well as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

The fund aims to support more professional development for teachers across London and spread good teaching practice.

Schools will be encouraged to bid for funds in collaboration with each other and also partners such as universities, independent schools, businesses and charities.

Today’s announcement is the first recommendation to be implemented following the Mayor’s Education Inquiry, a year-long independent investigation into the successes and challenges for London schools.

Mr Johnson said: “Many schools in London are doing tremendous work, and have high expectations of their students.

“They are not afraid of teaching the ‘crunchy subjects’ like maths, languages and sciences, or putting their children on a meaty diet of reading the classics or learning grammar.

“As a result, these children will grow up with the confidence and intellectual muscle to compete with the best talent from around the globe and get into the top jobs and universities.

“I now want this level of ambition in all of our state schools in the capital, and the one key thing we have learned from last year’s Inquiry that supporting our teachers’ professional development is vital to achieving this.

“The London Schools Excellence Fund is going to turbo charge good ideas, empty out pockets of underachievement, and, in the long term, ensure that outstanding teaching is the norm in all our state schools.”

The DfE has contributed £20m towards the establishment of the fund, with the Mayor contributing £4.25m.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “Every school should constantly aim to reach the standards set by the best. Our reforms will stretch all our children, regardless of their background, to achieve a high quality, rigorous education which prepares them to compete internationally.

“There is some fantastic practice already evident in some London schools and our funding will allow those successes to be shared across the city, and galvanise the country as a whole.

“I look forward to working with the Mayor – who is incredibly ambitious for London’s children - to provide greater challenge and rigour and raise standards.”

The Greater London Authority will also develop the London Curriculum, another recommendation in the Mayor’s Education Inquiry, which is designed to support schools to adapt to the new National Curriculum, whilst drawing on London’s unique historical, cultural and scientific assets.

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