Autumn Statement: Bradford head’s schools review recommends major changes

Bradford headteacher Sir Nick Weller was asked to lead a review into North schools

Bradford headteacher Sir Nick Weller was asked to lead a review into North schools

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A £50m-A-YEAR fund has been announced to expand grammar schools as a review of northern school standards called for a drive to attract better teachers.

The Autumn Statement included the fund in a sign Theresa May intends to press ahead with her plans for grammar schools despite opposition among Conservative MPs.

Alongside the Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond published the results of a review ordered by predecessor George Osborne and led by Bradford headteacher Sir Nick Weller into school standards in the North.

Mr Hammond immediately accepted some of Sir Nick’s recommendations including looking at measures to attract better teachers and creating more chains of academy schools in the North.

However, the Government only promised to “consider” other proposals including the creation of a “Teach North” scheme to encourage the most talented new teachers to work in disadvantaged areas of the North.

Sir Nick suggested some schools would benefit from a more diverse intake and should use “randomised selection” to take children from across a town or city rather than just those nearby.

It called for an overhaul of schools funding so that those with those with high concentrations of children with special needs have the resources they need.

Writing in the report, Sir Nick said: “In the process of this review, I have been impressed with the commitment of my colleagues in the region to raising education standards for northern children and indeed, there are some great examples of excellent schools across the North. However, many schools in the North are still failing to provide northern children with the standard of education needed for them to thrive.”

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