Selection for beacon status is dependent on schools being rated as high-performers by OFSTED, or they may have performed well over a period of three or four years. They are short-listed by the Department for Education and Skills and invited to apply for beacon status. Local education authorities are also asked to nominate schools. Additional funding averages about pound;35,000 a year, usually for at least three years.
Last week Estelle Morris announced 425 new beacons which will bring the total to 1,000 - a milestone reached a year earlier than planned.