Welcome to the Schools and Academies Show
|I am delighted to be joining so many people who are passionate about education from across the schools and academies sector. You have all made a contribution to providing every child in this country with the very best education. It is a privilege to be invited to speak at this event and I want to personally thank you for your hard work.
Great progress has been made over recent years, thanks to the dedication of teachers and leaders nationwide.
Standards are rising; the attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers has narrowed since 2011; the proportion of pupils in good or outstanding schools has increased since 2010; and our primary school children achieved their highest ever score in the most recent international reading tests in 2016.
|In everything we’ve been doing to improve education, we have put a strong focus on handing power back to schools, back to school leaders – recognising that they are the ones best placed to make the right decisions for their pupils and their communities. Fifty per cent of the pupils in state-funded schools in the country are now benefitting from the freedom, autonomy and opportunities for collaboration within academy trusts that academies and free schools enjoy. But there is more to do and we need to keep raising our game to spread opportunity to every part of the country to make sure our school system is on a par with the best in the world. We all share an ambition and a responsibility to make sure young people leave their education confident, assured and with all the skills they need to flourish, irrespective of their background. That is why we recently published a new strategy to boost the number of teachers in the profession and making sure talent stays in schools across the country.
As part of this, we have launched the Early Career Framework which underpins a funded entitlement to training and guarantees all early career teachers access to a shared understanding of the best available evidence – akin to the highest performing systems internationally. The strategy also includes opportunities for flexible and part-time working, and a reduction in their workload because we know that the biggest impact on a child’s education is made by the individuals teaching them.
Alongside this, we want to help schools reduce cost pressures and free up resources to reinvest back into the classroom. We will continue to work with schools to ensure they are getting the very best support to run efficiently whilst delivering high-quality education for their pupils. Whether that’s making our buying deals easier to use and better value, or extending the hands-on support that we are providing to schools that need it most.
I hope that you have the chance to hear the presentations from academies, schools, sponsors and representatives from the Department for Education and the Education Skills and Funding Agency at this year’s show.
Please take the opportunity to visit the Department’s Education Village where officials will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.
I hope that you will find the show informative and inspiring.
Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP