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'Champions league' of top heads to enter struggling schools by spring

A “champions league” of the best performing heads and deputies will start being matched up with struggling schools in a bid to improve standards. 

Schools minister David Laws (pictured) is expected to further set out plans in a speech today for a pool of 100 top headteachers that will be parachuted into schools struggling to reach high enough standards.

The policy was first put forward by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in October last year, who announced plans for a “champions league of headteachers, made up of heads and deputy heads, who will stand ready to move to schools in challenging circumstances that need outstanding leaders”.

Speaking at the North of England Education Conference in Nottingham later today, Mr Laws will launch the Talented Leaders programme, which will pair up school leaders with schools.

“This programme has the potential to make a powerful contribution to the education of some of our most disadvantaged children,” Mr Laws is expected to say.

“It is about helping schools who want a new outstanding head to find one, providing support to ambitious and aspiring leaders who want to make a real difference by taking on a new challenge and getting outstanding leaders to the areas of the country where that talent can have the biggest impact.”

Mr Clegg's original announcement was welcomed by the NAHT heads’ union.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said that the government was right to encourage more school leaders to take on challenging schools.

“The short term, high stakes, data-driven culture has put off many of our best leaders, who believe a great school is built carefully and thoroughly,” Mr Hobby said.

“It is not high pay, but respect and space that will encourage talent where it is needed most.”

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