Educational failure of coastal towns makes waves

5th April 2013 at 01:00

Congratulations on your excellent cover story: at last an urgent call to action for our coastal towns ("Waiting for a sea change", 29 March). Having visited schools across England during my term as schools commissioner, I recognise the need for a new focus on our coastal communities, many of which are disconnected from jobs and hope. Those who can, move out.

The future is certainly to attract more investment in training, housing and the arts in order to stimulate growth and make recruitment attractive. Let us not forget, though, the role that parents can play in the education process: we must work hard to restore the belief in education of parents in our coastal towns - themselves often disadvantaged educationally - and encourage them to support it for their children in partnership with local schools. Including parental engagement in initial teacher training would be one way to do this, as would sharing the examples of good practice that I have seen to exist.

We know from work in disadvantaged urban areas that education can be transformed. Our task in coastal areas now is not only to do this but to do it quickly.

Dr E.M Sidwell CBE, Schools commissioner, Department for Education.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today