Sheffield school among six in UK chosen by Department for Education to help support struggling schools

A Sheffield school is just one of six across the country to have been chosen by the Department for Education to become a ‘teaching school hub’ in a bid to improve standards of education.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:34 pm
Trust CEO Chris James at Silverdale School which is to become one of six specialist teaching hubs in the UK

Silverdale School, in Bents Green, will act as a regional hub providing expert support to between 200 and 300 struggling schools in the area during a three-year programme which will focus on teacher recruitment and retention and be tested from February 2020.

It is among six new teaching school hubs launched as part of the government’s “ambition to improve school standards in areas most in need of support” – a reform to the current schools' improvement system that builds on the successes of the Teaching School Alliances (TSA) and National Leaders of Education programmes.

Silverdale’s new status is thanks to its strong partnership with other Teaching Schools in South Yorkshire, a partnership which draws on a wealth of expertise from across the region.

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Year 7 pupils at Silverdale School which is to become one of six specialist teaching hubs in the UK

Chris James, CEO of Chorus Education Trust which governs Silverdale, said: “Although we’ve ended up getting the glory we’ve got to make sure that everybody else is acknowledged as well, it was built on collaboration in the first place between the teaching schools.

“The hub isn’t a building, it’s an infrastructure to try and pull together all that information that we’ve gained from the different schools in the region and the support that the teaching schools already give, it is just more systematic.

“Obviously we’re delighted, it is a recognition of a number of years of outstanding outcomes and outstanding performance at Silverdale. This really is an amazing school and for it to recognised nationally is a huge responsibility but is a great accolade too.”

Under original plans unveiled by the Department for Education (DfE) last year, 2,000 struggling schools were to receive support from nine teaching school hubs with annual funding of £2 million.

Trust CEO Chris James says Silverdale School's teaching school hub status is thanks to a partnership with other teaching schools across the region

This has now been scaled down as only six high-performing schools met the DfE’s criteria to participate in the scheme, now supporting 1,000 schools overall with £1.1million split between the hubs each academic year.

Schools rated as ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted will be eligible for help, as well as any school that wants to improve standards.

The new teaching schools hubs and the total funding they will receive each year are:

- Harrogate Grammar School, Harrogate, North Yorkshire ( £170,000)

- Kingsbridge Community College, Kingsbridge, Devon ( £170,000)

- Silverdale School, Sheffield, South Yorkshire ( £198,000)

- Harris Academy Chafford Hundred, Chafford Hundred, Essex ( £170,000)

- Copthorne Primary School, Bradford, West Yorkshire ( £198,000)

- Saffron Walden County High School, Saffron Walden, Essex (£197,900)