Groups of at least six schools, in partnership with other organisations, are being invited to set up 'learning networks'. These will try out new ways of boosting academic performance and support leadership development.
Each network could receive up to pound;150,000 over three years - but would have to match that from their own resources.
The money could be spent on, for example, introducing new teaching methods, providing professional development, research and coaching opportunities for staff, setting up study sessions and networks for headteachers, and paying for consultancy support.
The networks are being supported by the National College for School Leadership.
The college says that it knows of up to 400 schools, higher and further education institutions, education authorities and community groups who are already interested in working in this way.
The scheme is being jointly funded with the Department for Education and Skills.
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