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Schools' initiative to push pupils

PUBLISHED: 09:18 13 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:55 06 July 2010

FIVE Suffolk schools, including one in Lowestoft, have signed up to a new initiative to push their pupils further.

The schools that successfully bid to get involved in the government scheme, which includes Benjamin Britten High in Lowestoft, Deben High and Orwell High in Felixstowe, Newmarket College in Newmarket, and Sudbury Upper in Sudbury, will receive funding of up to £100,000 to provide extra materials for pupils.

FIVE Suffolk schools, including one in Lowestoft, have signed up to a new initiative to push their pupils further.

The schools that successfully bid to get involved in the government scheme, which includes Benjamin Britten High in Lowestoft, Deben High and Orwell High in Felixstowe, Newmarket College in Newmarket, and Sudbury Upper in Sudbury, will receive funding of up to £100,000 to provide extra materials for pupils.

The initiative, Gaining Ground, aims to help schools that may be “coasting”, which are those that are classed as satisfactory by Ofsted inspectors, but which could do more to stretch pupils and improve results.

Patricia O'Brien, portfolio holder for children, schools and young people's services at Suffolk County Council, said: “Five Suffolk headteachers have seized the chance to join a new government initiative called Gaining Ground.

“The scheme is open to those schools that are seen to have the capacity to improve their GCSE results at a faster rate than they are. “The schools will receive up to £50,000 a year for two years and some extra time from a School Improvement partner. The money will be used to develop improvement work underway in the schools and provide extra materials and support for students.”

The £40m Gaining Ground initiative will start this month and the funding will be used to pay for consultants and training in the schools and for possible federations with successful secondaries.

The government has identified “coasting” schools as those that may have disappointing Ofsted results given the intake and a weak tracking of pupils' progress.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: “These schools are not 'failing' schools - they will have acceptable, or sometimes even good results, but may not be fulfilling the potential of their pupils. Sometimes they may not be stretching their most able pupils, or perhaps not meeting the needs of their pupils who face difficulties.

“These schools may not have received focused attention to date, but will now qualify for additional funding and support to raise their ambition and improve pupils' progress.”

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