A new initiative to drive up the quality of education in Hastings was launched today (Monday, October 19).
Hastings Thrives will enable schools to work more closely together by sharing ideas, training and best practice.
Its objective will be to raise the achievement of all Hastings pupils, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
All primary and secondary schools in the town support the scheme which is one of two regions in the south east selected for a special focus on improving educational outcomes for those receiving pupil premium funding and those in the care of the council.
An action plan has been developed by the group under the supervision of one of Ofsted’s regional inspectors Alan Taylor Bennett.
“This is an exciting and potentially highly influential project,” he said.
“All local schools have joined forces to make an assertive response to the need to do more for children in Hastings, many of whom come from low-income families.
“There is absolutely no reason why children from less advantaged backgrounds in Hastings should not achieve every bit as well as any other group of children here, or anywhere else in the south east region.
“It’s great that Hastings head teachers and governors are now rising to this challenge, taking collective responsibility for this issue, and that they are now determined to make a big difference to these children’s lives and their life chances.”
The partnership has already provided training for teachers and support staff to improve the effective teaching of reading.
It is now expanding its work to focus on better maths teaching and broader pupil outcomes.
A major development will see the implementation of a cross-town initiative to address the needs of pupils who require substantial support to access learning, through a national programme Thrive.
Ark Blacklands Primary Academy head teacher Lorraine Clarke said: “We all want the best possible start in life for our children.
“Now we have an action plan to improve school standards in Hastings, with lots of activities around literacy and maths, as well as developing pupil well-being at primary school from an early age.
“We’re really looking forward to working with other schools in the area – I know we’re all committed to taking part in the Hastings Thrives programme.
“Our challenge is now to deliver on our ambitious aims for our pupils.”
The action plan focuses on five core aims; training and support for pupils who require additional nurturing and specialised intervention to develop the skills required to learn effectively.
A reading development programme which will benefit those who start their education with poor experiences of reading.
Work on raising achievement in mathematics targeted at the most vulnerable pupils.
The sharing of best practice in Early Years
And the development of leadership expertise and capacity in the town to resolve some of the current recruitment difficulties.
Schools signed up for the scheme include:
All Saints CE Junior School
Ark Blacklands Primary Academy
Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy
Castledown Community Primary and Nursery School
Christ Church CE Primary School
Churchwood Primary Academy
Dudley Infant School
The Baird Academy
Hollington Primary Academy
Ore Village Primary Academy
Robsack Wood Primary Academy
Sandown Primary School
Silverdale Primary Academy
St Leonards CE Primary Academy
West St Leonards Primary Academy
St Paul’s CE School
Ark William Parker Academy
Ark Helenswood Academy
The Hastings Academy
St Leonard’s Academy.
The initiative also has the full backing and support of Sussex Coast College: Hastings.
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