Leading heads respond to Fair Education Alliance report

Date of press release: 
8th October 2014

The London Leadership Strategy (LLS), a not-for-profit organisation led by experienced Headteachers to empower schools to take forward school-to-school improvement in London and beyond, has today (9th December 2014) welcomed The Fair Education Alliance’s Report Card 2014 report outlining the coalition’s ambitions to end the persistent achievement gap between young people from our poorest communities and their wealthiest peers.

Anita Kerwin-Nye, Managing Director of LLS, says: “We welcome the launch of The Fair Education Alliance’s Report Card 2014. It recognises that London is leading the way in narrowing the gap for children and young people and proving that deprivation does not need to determine destiny.

“The London Challenge has shown that with ambition, aspiration and a clear focus on raising standards and closing attainment gaps, backed by committed leadership at all levels, an education system can be transformed. We particularly welcome this report’s call for greater focus on leadership and training in schools and its call for collaboration between schools, including funding of continued professional development.”

  • The GLA’s Gold Club Schools, with LLS membership from Teresa Tunnadine and The Compton School.
  • Models of school-to-school support.
  • The London Challenge school improvement programme.
  • Demonstrating success in Narrowing the Gap, which saw Jackie Valin and The Southfields Academy receive a letter of recognition from Lord Nash.

Kerwin-Nye continues: “We welcome the report’s analysis of the use of the Pupil Premium and its ambition for it to be used effectively rather than just plugging holes in school budgets. We need to ensure that the Pupil Premium allocations are reaching those in need by thorough and expert evaluation of the effectiveness of a school’s use of the funding, which is why we have launched our Pupil Premium Review Service – a thorough and expert evaluation of the effectiveness of a school’s allocation of Pupil Premium funding.

“We urge caution on the report’s suggestion that the Pupil Premium is targeted at students of low income and low attainment. Whilst there is undoubtedly a need to ensure money is targeted where it is most needed, the fact remains that even if a poorer pupil does succeed at primary school, they are more likely to fall behind once they get to secondary.

“As this Fair Education Alliance report identifies, poorer children are too often only just pushed over the minimum expected requirements and are not being stretched to succeed at the highest levels. By changing the allocation formula of the Pupil Premium we run the risk of penalising bright children from low income homes, children whose aspirations could be raised and horizons could be widened through opportunities they might not otherwise experience.”

The Fair Education Alliance was formed in response to the growing demand for a national debate on why thousands of children do not get a fair education. The coalition encompasses 25 organisations including Teach First, Teaching Leaders and a number of LLS partners including Whole Education and Mulberry School for Girls.

Further Information

For Further information on this response, please contact Laura Smith on laura@londonleadershipstrategy.com or call 07766 6513 66.

Notes to editors

About London Leadership Strategy

  • It is now 11 years since the London Challenge was launched by Professor Tim Brighouse and subsequently led by Professor David Woods.
  • In 2002 London was the lowest performing region in the country and it is now the highest performing. This is an unprecedented achievement and is a testimony of London teachers and school leaders who have worked hard to raise standards.
  • The London Leadership Strategy is the not for profit successor organisation, led by London Headteachers, which is keeping alive the spirit and mission of London Challenge.
  • Run by Heads and School Leaders, LLS have an extensive network of school improvement reaching across all London Boroughs as well as offering support in specific projects and partnerships across England.
  • London Leadership Strategy offer programmes at primary, secondary and within SEN and their network includes all school sectors – maintained and non-maintained, members of multi academy trusts (MATs), independent schools, free schools and Non Maintained Special Schools (NMSS).
  • LLS’s programmes support schools at every point of their development journey – from needing improvement through to maintaining outstanding provision and supports leadership from entry to the profession through to outstanding heads supporting each other.
  • London Leadership Strategy have a lead school in each London Borough; a network of National Leaders of Education (NLE), Local Leaders of Education (LLEs), Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) and outstanding heads and teachers and teaching school partnerships.
  • For further information, visit www.londonleadershipstrategy.com
  • Follow LLS on Twitter

About the Fair Education Alliance

  • The Fair Education Alliance is an independent coalition for change in education comprising over 25 of the UK’s leading organisations. Its aim is to work towards ending the persistent achievement gap between young people from our poorest communities and their wealthier peers.
  • Committed to this common goal, the Alliance will both work collectively to find solutions to address educational inequality, as well as annually monitoring the progress made to narrow the gap
  • The priority of the FEA is to map out the activities that will be undertaken as an Alliance to make progress towards achieving the Fair Education Impact Goals, and to shape the Alliance around these activities.
  • To find out more and stay in touch as this work progresses, please email fea@teachfirst.org.uk.

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