Jack Brereton MP has welcomed the news that schools in Stoke-on-Trent will receive a share of £40 million in extra support over three years as a Priority Education Investment Area. Stoke-on-Trent is already one of 55 new Education Investment Areas under plans to Level Up education for disadvantaged children and young people across England.
As part of the Conservative Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, 55 areas across the country will receive targeted support to help young people from all backgrounds receive the highest standards of education.
Priority Education Investment Areas will receive tailored support to address their local needs, including to improve digital connectivity in schools and launch a leadership development programme for aspiring trust leaders.
Education Investment Areas will be prioritised for new specialist sixth form free schools – ensuring that talented children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to the learning they need to progress into training or higher education. They will also be eligible for retention payments to help schools maintain the best teachers in high priority subjects, and they will be able to access a new pilot programme improve pupil attendance.
Schools in 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, subject to a consultation in the spring.
Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South said:
“I very much welcome confirmation that Stoke-on-Trent is going to be included as an Education Investment Area. This will help to ensure our schools in Stoke-on-Trent have the support they need to continue to improve further. Locally teachers have been doing an amazing job to improve education and this will mean we can go even further to ensure every child in our city gets the best opportunities to achieve their full potential.”
The Conservative Government introduced 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.
95 per cent of the areas selected as an Education Investment Area are outside London and the South East – with schools in areas like Stoke-on-Trent set to receive the most support, levelling up education across England.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:
“This is levelling up in action. The Opportunity for All White Paper will deliver for every child, parent and family, living anywhere from rural villages, to coastal towns through to the largest cities, by making sure all children have access to a school that meets our current best standards, harnessing the incredible energy and expertise of the one million people that work in schools.
“Any child who falls behind in maths or English will get the support they need, and schools will also be asked to offer at least a 32.5 hour school week by September 2023.
“We know what works in schools and we are scaling up to ensure that every child can expect interesting, enriching lessons. Parents rightly expect a world class education for their children and that is what we will deliver.”