Failing schools to be ‘rescued’ by 1,500 teachers in new national service

To improve the country’s education standards, 1,500 teachers will be deployed to the most underperforming schools for three years as part of a new National Teaching Service (NTS).

Announced today (3 November), the NTS is part of a series of reforms by education secretary Nicky Morgan to rescue schools lagging behind in the state system.

Morgan’s reforms were motivated in part by recent figures showing that there are more than 20 local authorities where most pupils are still failing to secure five good GCSEs. In Knowsley, for example, not one single secondary school has been rated ‘outstanding’.

In a speech at the Policy Exchange think tank today, she set out details of her full proposal and launched an initial pilot of the NTS in the north west – which will see up to 100 teachers enlisted in primary and secondary schools from September 2016.

By the end of the decade, she hopes to see more than 1,000 teachers and leaders sent to failing schools that request help from an “injection of talent”. Teachers will work with the school for up to three years to help drive up standards.

Teachers and leaders who sign up for the programme will receive a package of support including a “clear path to promotion and leadership roles”.

Teach First will also work with the Department for Education to explore how the new national service can help develop and deploy talented teachers to areas of primarily low income levels.

Brett Wigdortz OBE, CEO and founder of Teach First, said: “Every day, teachers and schools across the country are doing incredible work to support their pupils. We look forward to working with the [department] to explore how the NTS can build on this work further, and give more pupils the fair start to life they deserve.”

Further reforms announced today include a stronger commitment to boost literacy and numeracy in primary schools, particularly by forcing struggling children to re-sit tests at secondary school.

More rigorous standard assessment tests are already being introduced at the end of primary school, but the government will now look into tests for students at the age of seven to guarantee a solid foundation from earlier on.

Whitehall will be working in partnership with headteachers in the coming months to refine this idea and assess how it can hold schools to account should young students be failing.

Morgan has also begun consulting on government plans to extend the English Baccalaureate to 90% of students. She has also secured plans for the proportion of pupils entering the baccalaureate scheme to become a headline measure used to hold schools to account through Ofsted inspections.

Finally, the education secretary revealed details of five academy sponsors now tasked with driving up standards across the north of England where performance has been historically poor.

The sponsors were awarded grants pooled at nearly £5m to make a significant impact on performance in the most challenging and disadvantaged areas in the country.

James Wharton, minister for the Northern Powerhouse, said: “For too long, too many children in the north have been let down by underperforming schools. These sponsors bring with them experience, leadership, and a strong track record of success which will mean these school children can now fulfil their academic potential.”


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Building a more diverse society

05/03/2018Building a more diverse society

Karl Wilding, policy director at the National Council for Voluntary Organis... more >
Developing our future leaders

05/03/2018Developing our future leaders

Kerry Bishop, apprenticeship and qualification development manager at the L... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >


Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), spea... more >

the raven's daily blog

Apprenticeship levy – five myths busted

05/03/2018Apprenticeship levy – five myths busted

On the first day of National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (NAW 2018), the director of the National Apprenticeship Service, Sue Husband, challenges some of the key myths around the... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar


March 2018

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
26 27 28 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8

featured articles

View all News