The Welsh Government have identified 40 secondary schools set to take part in the new Schools Challenge Cymru initiative. Modelled on successful initiatives in London and Manchester the scheme aims to drive up school standards in under performing schools, the £20 Million fund is being dedicated to breaking the link between poverty and low attainment. From September the schools will be supported by advisers and paired with high-performing schools.
The major initiative is being overseen by Professor Mel Ainscow – who was UK Government’s Chief Advisor to the Greater Manchester Challenge. Prof Ainscow gave the keynote address at the recent IWA Annual Education Conference. Speaking about the Schools Challenge concept, he told the conference:
“We’re confident that Schools Challenge Cymru can make a difference, building on the experience of London and Manchester. The sharing of knowledge and excellence between schools has been seen to make a difference. Schools must be part of the engine of change. Education is getting more money and a statement of intent. We’re in this for the long term. But we have to have an assessment of what works. The London and Greater Manchester Schools Challenge projects were able to show they were making a difference. I’d like us to be in that position by 2016.”
You can watch the keynote speech below:
If you’d like any more information on this year’s Annual Education Conference then you can buy the event report online, or if you’re a member of the IWA you can access the report for free.