Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : New leadership for children in need

The press release issued by the Department for Education on 16 November 2010.

The Education Secretary Michael Gove has today set out radical new measures to help tackle entrenched underperformance in England’s schools.

Speaking today at the National College New Heads conference, Mr Gove announced plans to more than double the number of National Leaders of Education (NLEs) – outstanding headteachers committed to supporting struggling schools.

The number of NLEs will rise from 393 to 1000 by 2014. Superb heads joining the programme will be expected to use their skills and experience to advise struggling schools and help them improve. The role of NLEs will also be strengthened and extended in the white paper, with new incentives for the most dramatic improvements in performance.

NLEs need to have demonstrated sustained high performance in their own school before being awarded this new status, and they will only maintain NLE status if they succeed in turning around underperforming schools. The NLE model has a proven track record. Primary schools that received NLE support in 2007-08 saw a ten percentage point increase in pupils reaching the expected level by age 11 and in secondary schools pupils’ success at GCSE improved twice as fast as the national average.

Michael Gove said:

“Great schools are the product of great leadership. There are many superb heads in our state system doing a wonderful job. But there are also many schools which are still not giving children the start in life they deserve. We still have one of the most unequal education systems in the world and half of young people leave school without the basic qualifications you need to succeed.

That’s why we will invest in recruiting more great heads to turn round our weaker schools and extend the academy model so more strong schools can help weaker schools. The coalition government is relentlessly focused on making our school system one of the best in the world and making opportunity more equal.”