Thousands of teachers benefitting from Mayor’s funding to drive up standards in schools

By Wednesday, September 17, 2014 No tags Permalink

5,658 teachers are now benefitting from a £24 million scheme set up by the Mayor of London to drive up standards in schools across the capital.

The Mayor Boris Johnson set up the London Schools Excellence Fund, which includes £20 million from the Department for Education, to meet the demands of the new national curriculum. It is designed to promote teaching excellence and raise achievement in English, literacy, numeracy and languages, as well as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

During the 2014/15 academic year 1,300 schools across the capital will be working together to support the professional development of teachers. It has been shown that peer-to-peer activities can raise achievement, as good performing schools share their knowledge and experience.

They include the East London Science School, a free school in Newham, which the Mayor visited this morning to find out more about its involvement in The Physics Factory. The Mayor has invested £320,000 in the project, which is led by the Sydney Russell School in Barking and Dagenham and aims to “put the fizz back into physics”.

The Physics Factory is coordinating and delivering bespoke training and support to science teachers within Barking & Dagenham, Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. The aim is to reach up to 50 schools, at least 50 teachers and at least 2,000 pupils Key Stages 3-5 during the academic year 2014/15. The funding for The Physics Factory is one of 18 grants worth a total of £3.8 million that have been awarded to science engineering and design projects. This specific funding is benefiting 2,589 teachers in hundreds of schools from Key Stage 1 (Year 1) to Key Stage 5 (A-Level).

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘Thousands of teachers and pupils are now benefiting from the fund we set up to drive up standards. Schools in London are already doing tremendous work, with attainment levels outperforming the rest of the country. But it’s clear that London schools want to excel even further. London schoolchildren will be competing with the very best around the world. We want to inspire our teachers and ensure they are equipped to deliver the new national curriculum effectively, creating classrooms that are as stimulating as they are rigorous.’

Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, Munira Mirza said: ‘This is an exciting time for education in the capital. Having introduced the London Schools Excellence Fund our goal is to drive up standards and to ensure our young people have access to the highest standards of teaching wherever they live in the capital and regardless of background.’

Other London Schools Excellence Fund awards have gone to projects in the following areas: computer science; geography and history; languages; literacy; maths; music and arts; English as an additional language; children in care; and knowledge mobilisation. The total funding for 2014/15 is £15.5m.

During his visit to East London Science School the Mayor also led a Classics class. The free school is currently housed in a temporary home at Three Mills, which is owned by the London Legacy Development Corporation. The Mayor’s Office is also working with the school to identify a permanent site.

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