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Skills, schools and families at the heart of government plans

Education will be at the heart of major new reforms set to give every child and adult the skills they need to fulfil their potential, no matter where they live.

Through the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, areas such as County Durham, Cornwall and Hartlepool are set to benefit from improved schools, part of a package of measures that will also boost take-up of high-quality training across England and support stable families that help children to succeed.

The plans being published tomorrow (Wednesday 2 February) will identify 55 cold spots of the country where school outcomes are the weakest, to target investment, support and action that help children from all backgrounds and areas to succeed at the very highest levels. These include Rochdale, the Isle of Wight, Walsall, parts of Yorkshire and Sunderland.

As 95 per cent of these areas are outside London and the South East, it is the struggling schools of the North, Midlands, East of England and South West that will be receiving much more support over the next decade.

In these new ‘Education Investment Areas’, the Department for Education will offer retention payments to help schools keep the best teachers in the highest priority subjects. These areas will be prioritised as the location for new specialist sixth form free schools where there is limited provision to ensure talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to the highest standard of education this country offers.

Schools in these areas that have been judged less than Good in successive Ofsted inspections could be moved into strong multi-academy trusts, to attract more support and the best teachers.

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