Dan Jarvis – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Dan Jarvis on 2016-04-21.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to publish the terms of reference for Sir Nick Weller’s report into transforming education across the Northern Powerhouse.

Nick Gibb

Our White Paper, Education Excellence Everywhere, sets out the range of support we will offer to schools across England.

Where schools are failing, Regional Schools Commissioners will identify a suitable academy sponsor to turn them around. In areas where there are too few sponsors, we will recruit new sponsors, including high-performing schools and more sponsors from business, charity and philanthropy. We will also encourage existing sponsors to expand, increasing incentives and minimising barriers, learning from the investment we have already made through the Northern Sponsor Fund.

For other struggling schools, we will ensure there is nationwide coverage of system leaders (teaching schools and National Leaders of Education), who will be expected to work with weaker schools to support them to improve. To help achieve this, we will improve how we designate system leaders by introducing a more sophisticated approach based on timely and accurate data rather than relying heavily on Ofsted judgements. We will also partner schools with the potential to become strong system leaders with existing teaching schools and National Leaders of Education.

Through the Department’s strategy for Achieving Excellence Areas, we will target our existing programmes to secure sufficient high quality teachers, leaders, system leaders, sponsors and members of governing boards on the areas of greatest need. At the Budget, the Government announced that we will invest an additional £20 million a year to build on this strategy to raise education standards across the Northern Powerhouse. The allocation of this funding will depend on the identified need and will be reassessed each year, based on the evidence.

For the additional funding announced in the budget, decisions on how the funding will be allocated for the 2016-17 financial year will be made by the autumn of this year and will be informed by the emerging findings of the review by Sir Nick Weller. We will be publishing the terms of reference for Sir Nick Weller’s review shortly.