Norfolk teachers join national leadership programme aiming to close the pupil achievement gap
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A group of Norfolk teachers have joined a national leadership programme aiming to close the achievement gap between poorer and better-off pupils.
Thirty-one teachers from the county are taking part in the Teaching Leaders Fellows and Primary programmes, and over two years the project aims to equip the teachers with the leadership skills needed to make an impact on pupil progress.
'The Norfolk middle leaders who attended our intensive primary and secondary residentials this summer are highly committed and full of energy,' said James Toop, CEO of Teaching Leaders.
'They are visibly passionate about the work that they do in Norfolk's schools and are determined to improve the achievement of their pupils, many of whom are from areas of high socio-economic disadvantage.'
Secondary school teachers started in August with a short course where they heard from leading national figures in education including Baroness Sue Campbell, CEO of the Youth Sports Trust and Phil Beadle, author, journalist and teacher.
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Tracey Evans, head of arts faculty at The Hewett School, in Norwich, said: 'I have a renewed sense of passion and purpose and am keen to see how I develop as a practitioner, a leader and as a teacher.'
The Norfolk primary teachers began their programme later in August, and are among the first in the country to take part.
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Teaching Leaders will deliver both its primary and secondary programme seminars locally at Thorpe St Andrew School, and Norfolk County Council is funding places on the programme.
James Joyce, chairman of the Children's Services Committee at the council, said: 'We know that schools need strong leadership if they are to be successful and this must come from all senior staff, not just the headteacher.
'This programme supports the development of middle leaders in schools, giving them the skills they need to support and challenge other staff and get the very best for the children in the school. We are hopeful that it will go some way to narrowing the gap between children that are in receipt of free school meals and their peers.
'By developing leaders locally, on a much celebrated national programme, we are also investing in the development of staff that are likely to be the headteachers of the future.'
Teachers from the following schools are taking part in the Teaching Leaders Fellows programme: City Academy Norwich; Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Gorleston; East Norfolk Sixth Form College; Flegg High School, Martham; Jane Austen College, Norwich; Kings Lynn Academy; North Walsham High School; The Open Academy, Norwich; Ormiston Denes Academy, Lowestoft and The Hewett School, Norwich.
Teachers from the following primary schools will attend Teaching Leader Primary sessions: St Nicholas Junior School, Dereham; Emneth Primary School; Lakenham Primary School, Norwich; Lionwood Junior School, Norwich and Ormiston Herman Academy, Great Yarmouth.