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Trust to lead targeted help for thousands of pupils

Published on 27/09/17

Thousands of children across Norfolk and Suffolk are set to benefit from a £500,000 boost to education in the region.

The extra support comes after the Government approved two innovative projects put forward by the Inspiration Trust as part of a new strategic school improvement fund.

The first will see 14 primary schools get extra help to tackle low attainment in reading by boosting vocabulary across a wide range of subjects.

That project involves primary schools run by four different academy trusts and the local authority, with schools in Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, Norwich, Lowestoft, and Thetford taking part.

Teachers will get access to detailed material for use in science, history, geography, and religious studies classes.

They will also get an intensive training programme to help them get the most out of the teaching material, focused on the trust's curriculum centre at the Hewett Academy in Norwich.

The project also includes in-school support sessions and detailed monitoring and evaluation to examine how the scheme could be widened out to more schools in the future.

Inspiration Trust director of education Christine Counsell said: "This partnership will tackle chronic low attainment in reading for children in some of the most deprived areas of Norfolk and Suffolk. 

"The project will benefit hundreds of Year 4 pupils by removing a major cause of underachievement that perpetuates the disadvantage gap: the lack of broad academic knowledge necessary to make it possible to recognise wide vocabulary at speed.

"The second project is being led by the Inspiration Trust's Hethersett Academy, working with Hethel Innovation, the Norwich Teaching School, and Encompass teaching school.

The scheme is specifically targeted at reducing the gap in attainment and attainment for disadvantaged pupils.

Five secondary schools - four in Norwich and one in Great Yarmouth - will get bespoke support and training to help children from poorer backgrounds to reach the same levels as fellow pupils.

The programme will include in-school visits, a teacher training programme, and regular monitoring and review sessions over a two year period, with the aim of improving the progress students make, reducing school exclusions, and getting more students staying in education after GCSEs.

Announcing the funding, education secretary Justine Greening said: "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.

“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."

The primary schools taking part are:

  • Cobholm Primary Academy
  • Costessey Junior School
  • Dell Priamry Academy
  • Edith Cavell Academy and Nursery
  • Elm Tree Primary School
  • Great Yarmouth Primary Academy
  • Hethersett VC Junior School
  • Kessingland  Church of England Primary Academy
  • Middleton Church of England Primary Academy
  • Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy
  • Norwich Primary Academy
  • St Michael's  Church of England Primary Academy
  • St Peter and St Paul Church of England Primary Academy
  • Tuckswood Academy

The secondary schools taking part are:

  • Great Yarmouth Charter Academy
  • Jane Austen College
  • Sewell Park College
  • Sprowston High School
  • The Hewett Academy