56 learning projects win £20m from new schools fund

Fifty-six learning projects will receive £20 million in the first round of grants from the government’s new Strategic School Improvement Fund.

They include schemes to improve progress in reading, modern foreign languages, and science, and each of them are to be delivered by schools and local authorities.

The programmes will take place at academies and maintained schools across the country, and aim to address specific challenges in their area and drive up standards.

Education secretary Justine Greening said she was “confident” the government had identified projects that would “make a real difference”.

“This fund is about helping schools raise their performance by investing in evidence-led work, targeted at those areas where it will make the most difference,” she said.

“Tapping into the expertise that already exists in the system, and encouraging all schools, whether academies or maintained, to work together, will allow us to spread excellence and have a real impact on children’s lives.”

One project to receive a slice of the fund is led by Swavesey Village College, which will support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to make greater progress in modern foreign languages and science, from year 3 through to year 11.

It will initially appear in 23 schools across Cambridgeshire, and will develop materials and resources to help students prepare for the transition between primary and secondary.

The Hackney Learning Trust is another beneficiary, and will work with 21 primary schools across London, Suffolk and East Sussex to introduce and embed new approaches to boost reading skills.

Meanwhile, the Inspiration Trust will work to improve chronically low attainment in reading at 14 academy and local authority primary schools across Norfolk and Suffolk.

The Strategic School Improvement Fund was introduced in November 2016 as part of a package of resources to support the whole school system and encourage greater collaboration between academies and maintained schools. It will rise to a total £280 million over the next two years, with the intention of building a “self-improving school system”.

The second round of bidding will open later this month, when roadshows will be run across the country in partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation to help potential applicants to put proposals together.

The government chooses programmes to benefit from the funding based on evidence of how the ideas will make sustainable changes in schools.

The initiatives are also intended to assist families living in areas identified as social mobility coldspots.

In October 2016, the DfE identified six areas as suffering the most from social mobility issues: West Somerset, Norwich, Blackpool, Scarborough, Derby, and Oldham.

These coldspots were promised access to funding to address their biggest challenges, as well as access to wider support to help young people from nursery right through to work. The scheme is now being widened out to other parts of the country.

The full list of successful applicants from the first round of Strategic School Improvement Funding:

Kyra Teaching School Alliance (lead School Mount Street Academy)

Hales Valley Teaching School

Transform Teaching School Alliance

Fylde Coast Teaching School

Tudor Grange Academy, Solihull

Leicester Teaching School part of RMET

Christ Church CE Primary School

The Pathfinder Teaching School Alliance

Learners First Schools Partnership

Tauheedul College for Teaching and Leadership (Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School)

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College

Southam College

Cornwall Teaching School

Trinity Teaching School Alliance

New Collaborative Learning Trust

The Swan Alliance

Abbey Multi Academy Trust

Launde Primary School/Oadby Learning Partnership

Hackney Learning Trust

London Borough of Croydon

Salop Teaching School Alliance

Essex County Council

Learning Unlimited TSA

Glaisdale Primary School

All Saints Teaching School Alliance

Prince Henry’s High School

Arthur Terry Learning Partnership

Inspiration Trust

North Star Teaching School Alliance (Knaresborough Meadowside)

Southwark Teaching School Alliance led by Charles Dickens Primary School

Sheringham Primary National Teaching School

The Success for All Educational Trust

The View Trust

Excalibur Teaching School Alliance

Plymouth Teaching School Alliance

Makerfield Academy Trust and formerly named Byrchall High School Academy Trust

West Berkshire Council

Bedford Borough Local Authority

Swavesey Village College

Outwood Grange Academies Trust (Outwood Institute of Education)

The Beach Teaching School Alliance

Manchester Teaching School Alliance

Northern Lights Teaching School (Skipton Girls’ High School)

TBAP Multi Academy Trust

LEaRN Teaching School Alliance

Blackburn with Darwen LA

Brompton-on-Swale CE Primary School

CAM Academy Trust

The White Horse Federation

Landau Forte Teaching School Alliance

East Sussex County Council

Manor Primary TSA on Behalf of Black Country Teaching School Colloborative

Hethersett Academy Teaching School

St John the Baptist School  (Lead School for Xavier MAT

Noctua Teaching School

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  1. £20m from School Improvement Fund here, £30m from Academy Growth Fund there, £5m shared between five ‘outstanding’ academy trusts for expansion up north (one of them, WCAT, is now dumping its academies), £45m development money awarded to some familiar names ( Throwing around bits of money like this isn’t going to solve the school funding crisis.