May’s Government ‘less focused on Northern Powerhouse plans’

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THERESA May’s Government is not as focused on developing the Northern Powerhouse as the previous Tory administration, according to a head teacher who led a Government-commissioned review of education in northern England.

Sir Nick Weller, the chief executive of Bradford-based Dixons Academies Trust, said a new “northern allowance” should be created to attract teachers to the North of England in order to improve standards in schools.

He also warned that public-sector workers were looking to the next few years with feelings of trepidation, which is partly due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

The Northern Powerhouse Schools Strategy was produced by Sir Nick in 2016. It makes a series of recommendations for closing the gap in attainment between the North and South, particularly in the results of disadvantaged children. Sir Nick’s strategy recommended Government funding for a new Teach North scheme to attract and retain newly-qualified teachers in disadvantaged areas of the North.

Sir Nick told The Yorkshire Post that his report had been commissioned by George Osborne, the former Chancellor, and Nicky Morgan, the former education secretary.

He said he was not going to pretend it has the same political backing that it had.

However, he said that various approaches to find ways of attracting teachers to the North will be tried, and whichever ends up working the best will probably be rolled out. He added: “I think

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