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Tuesday, 20 June, 2000, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Specialist schools 'better, faster'
boys in technology class
Specialist schools get extra funding
Research on specialist schools tends to confirm that they are improving pupils' educational standards at a faster rate than ordinary comprehensives.

The government has announced that a further 55 schools have been granted specialist status, 26 of them in areas which are part of its Excellence in Cities programme.

There are now 534 specialist schools in England. Ministers intend there to be 800 by September 2003.

The new group includes eight arts colleges, 14 language colleges, seven sports colleges and 26 technology colleges.

Click here for the full list

The Schools Standards Minister, Estelle Morris, said: "Specialist schools have the confidence and the courage needed to question what works and what does not work in raising standards and to translate this into new approaches to teaching and learning.

"Involvement of local businesses enables schools to provide a range of opportunities to enrich the curriculum in the specialist subjects and thereby reinforce learning."

The research, commissioned by the Department for Education, involved a survey by the London School of Economics of the 238 specialist schools operating in September 1997, and case studies of 12 schools, carried out by Leeds University.

It shows an average annual improvement in the percentage of pupils gaining at least five A*-C grade GCSEs of 1.11 compared with 0.75 in non-specialist schools.

Ministers had pointed to the relatively higher improvement in results in specialist schools when they published last year's school performance tables.

The first 47 technology colleges have on average improved their top GCSE at more than twice the average rate in other schools.

The specialist schools programme started with Technology Colleges, the first being designated in 1994.

All state secondary schools can apply to become specialist schools, provided their local education authorities agree, if they can raise 50,000 in sponsorship.

They also have to draw up a four-year development plan to improve teaching and learning in their specialist subjects, and explain how they will involve other schools and the wider local community.

In return, they get a 100,000 capital grant and 123 per pupil per year, initially for four years.

The full list of newly-designated schools, by government region -
(T)echnology, (A)rts, (L)anguages, (S)ports:

Greater London

Acland Burghley School (A)
Holy Family College, The (T)
Hurlingham and Chelsea School (A)
Mount Carmel RC Girls School (T)
Plumstead Manor School (A)
The Sir John Cass's Foundation & Redcoat School (L)
Woodbridge High School (L)

South East

Chatham Grammar School for Boys (L)
Hampden Park School (T)
Kennet School (T)
St Peter's Catholic Comprehensive School, Guildford (T)

South West

Bournemouth School (L)
Chipping Campden School (T)
Kingsmead Community School (L)
The John Bentley School (L)
Worle School (A)


Chelmsford County High School for Girls (T)
Samuel Ward Upper School (T)
Sir John Leman High School (T)

East Midlands

Hope Valley College (T)
St Benedict School & Sixth Form Centre (A)
William Farr Church of England Comprehensive School (T)

West Midlands

Bartley Green School (T)
Bishop Walsh RC Comprehensive School (A)
Calthorpe Special School (S)
Golden Hillock Community School (S)
Foxford School & Community College (A)
Hamstead Hall School (S)
John Willmott School (T)
King Edward VI Aston School (S)
King Edward VI Camp Hill School (T)
Wheelers Lane Boys School (T)
Moseley School (L)
Thistley Hough High School (A)

North East

Dene House Comprehensive School (T)
King Edward VI School (T)
Sacred Heart High School (T)

North West

Brookway High School (S)
Hathershaw Community High School (T)
Padgate High School with Fearnhead College (T)
Parrs Wood High School (T)
Penwortham Priory High School (T)
Prescot School (L)
St Alered's Catholic High School (T)
St Edmund Arrowsmith RC High School (T)
St Edward's College (L)
Victoria Community High School (T)
Walkden High School (L)


All Saints RC School (L)
Millthorpe School (L)
Thornton Grammar School (S)
Withernsea High School (T)
Wolfreton School (L)

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01 Jul 99 | UK Systems
Secondary schools
20 Jan 00 | Education
Specialist schools push ahead
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