Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire will not be forgotten in drive to bring teachers to struggling areas, says education secretary

PUBLISHED: 19:50 01 February 2016 | UPDATED: 19:50 01 February 2016

Nicky Morgan  Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Nicky Morgan Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Schools in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire will not be forgotten in the national drive to bring teachers to struggling areas, Nicky Morgan has said.

The cabinet minister at the helm of the Department for Education said a new scheme to attract and retain teachers to struggling areas would be rolled out nationally.

Despite the latest social mobility report which shows the East of England is lagging behind many northern and London authorities in improving the life changes of the poorest children, the better performing north-west was chosen to pilot a scheme which will enlist 100 teachers to work in eligible primary and secondary schools from September.

Mrs Morgan insisted the northern project was only a pilot and with 1,500 teachers planned, she strongly expected the initiative to reach the East.

She said that despite bringing in good sponsors [for free schools and academies] there was more to be done in the East when it came to education.

“I am very clear that the East of England will be one of the areas we will be looking at in excellent education everywhere.

“I think quality of teaching is the single most important factor in driving up standards; making sure there are enough good teachers and good schools leaders. There will be schools that are failing and coasting and we will need to bring in sponsors. There are other good schools in the area that are becoming good sponsors themselves.”

To National Teaching Service will help with relocation, temporary accommodation or commuting costs and provide leadership courses. “We know we have great schools and great teachers in this country, but we also know there are areas of entrenched educagtional under-performance,” Mrs Morgan said. Her comments came as the government also announced its pilot areas for an extra 15 hours of free childcare, which also excluded Norfolk. Norwich MP Chloe Smith, who has been promoting the opportunity for new businesses to start up as a result of the extra childcare support, said it was a shame Norfolk had not made it into the pilot areas, but the silver lining would be that the county could learn from everybody else’s ideas.

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