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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Trust schools projects revealed
Classroom
Ministers say trust schools will raise standards
The first schools which will take part in trials of controversial education reforms in England have been announced.

Several "trust school" projects have been agreed between private groups and schools, with a total of 28 planned for the pilot scheme this year.

Plans for trusts, free from local authority control, drew opposition from rebel Labour MPs earlier this year.

But, following concessions, the education bill going through Parliament is expected to become law in November.

Commissioner named

Education Secretary Alan Johnson said the 28 projects would involve 50 schools.

He also named a Department for Education and Skills official, Sir Bruce Liddington, as the commissioner who will match companies, colleges, charities and other groups with schools to become trusts.

So far only four of the schools definitely have outside partners - who can have a controlling influence on the governing body but do not have to provide financial backing:

  • Microsoft is working with Monkseaton school, Tyneside
  • Westminster University is working with Quinton Kynaston, Westminster
  • Trinity and All Saints College is working with Garforth School, Leeds
  • Prospects College is working with Thorpe Bay school, Southend

Sir Bruce would work with the other interested schools to identify suitable sponsors, the department said.

The ATL teachers' union reiterated its opposition to trust schools.

Among other things its general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, said: "We are still worried about the make up of their governing bodies which could be dominated by a single group.

Sir Bruce Liddington
Sir Bruce will help schools identify suitable sponsors

"There isn't any justification for giving a trust the majority representation on a school governing body.

"And we want reassurance that the schools commissioner - an unaccountable bureaucrat in the DfES - will not put pressure on schools and local authorities to get trust schools set up."

The education secretary and Prime Minister Tony Blair visited one of the schools - Quintin Kynaston in St John's Wood, north-west London - to mark the announcement.

'Flexibilities'

Mr Johnson said: "There is a real momentum gathering behind our reforms.

"From today around 50 schools will be exploring trust status as a way of raising standards."

He added: "The flexibilities and freedoms that trust status provides will allow school leaders to better respond to the needs of their communities, work in partnership to tackle challenges and to work with parents to shape the direction and ethos of their school."

The DfES said more than 60 schools had expressed an interest in setting up trusts.

But the general secretary of the NASUWT teachers' union, Chris Keates, said the whole scheme was "highly regrettable".

It was "undermining the government's laudable ambition to ensure that all children whatever their background have access to the highest standards of education", she added.


Trust School Pathfinders

(Schools shown grouped together are working in partnerships.)

North East

Ashington Community High School, Northumberland

The Hermitage School, Durham

Monkseaton Community High School, North Tyneside

North West

Reddish Vale Technology College, Stockport

Parkview Community College of Technology, Cumbria
The Alfred Barrow School, Cumbria
Thorncliffe School, Cumbria
George Hastwell, Cumbria

Yorkshire & Humberside

Outwood Grange College, Wakefield

South Craven School, North Yorkshire

Garforth Community College, Leeds

East Midlands

The Ferrers Specialist Arts College, Northamptonshire

West Midlands

Kingsley College, Worcestershire

Haybridge High School and Sixth Form, Worcestershire
Stourport High School, Worcestershire
Bewdley High School, Worcestershire
Baxter College, Worcestershire

Windsor High School, Dudley
Earls High School, Dudley
Leasowes Community College, Dudley

Four Dwellings High School, Birmingham

East of England

Thorpe Bay School, Southend-on-Sea

King Edmund School, Essex
FitzWimarc Language College, Essex
Greensward Technology College, Essex

Comberton Village College, Cambridgeshire

Parkside Community College, Cambridgeshire
Coleridge Community College, Cambridgeshire

Sharnbrook Upper School, Bedfordshire

South West

Montacute School, Poole

Coombeshead College, Devon
Kingsbridge Community College, Devon
Knowles Hill School, Devon
Ivybridge Community College, Devon
Tavistock College, Devon
South Dartmoor Community College, Devon

Teyfant Community College, Bristol
Hartcliffe Engineering Community College, Bristol
New Fosseway Special School, Bristol

Worle Community School, North Somerset
Westhaven Community Special School, North Somerset

Widewell Primary School, Plymouth

South East

Icknield Community College, Oxfordshire

The Henry Box School, Oxfordshire

New Brompton College, Medway

London

Abbs Cross School & Arts College, Havering

Quintin Kynaston School, Westminster

Source: DfES




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