New leadership for children in need

Published on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 10:21
Posted by Scott Buckler

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


Speaking 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.

Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the National College, said:

In these difficult times it is important to remain focused on the key priority of giving all children the very best start in life. Over half a million children have already benefited from the NLE scheme. This is a huge achievement and a credit to these outstanding heads and their schools. Looking beyond their own school gate and helping other school leaders is admirable and something I would encourage all heads to consider. The National College is pleased to support all those who step forward to meet the challenge.

David Carter, NLE and Executive Principal of the Cabot Learning Federation in Bristol, said:

One of the benefits of the NLE programme is that it has had a positive impact on the Cabot Federation’s own performance. It’s no coincidence that in 2010 the results for all three of Cabot’s academies were the best ever.

Source: ©DFE

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