Achieving Excellence Areas – implications for the North East

The DfE set out plans in its white paper Educational Excellence Everywhere to prioritise support to a number of areas of the country where “low standards are exacerbated by a lack of capacity to drive improvement”.


Using a mix of indicators, the Department has identified 53 local authority districts in England where standards and capacity make it least likely that the “school-led system (can) deliver rapid and sustainable improvement”.

The Government plans to inject extra support into a number of these areas to drive up standards.

In the North East, Middlesbrough and Northumberland were given a composite score of 6 – identifying them as the parts of the region most in need of external support to improve.

SCHOOLS NorthEast Director Mike Parker participated in a workshop at the Department for Education to fine tune the current methodology.

The current approach focuses on local authority districts. Mr Parker queried whether or not the Government had considered creating Achieving Excellence Areas at sub-regional or regional levels to create additional capacity and expertise for school-led improvement.

Concerns raised during the session included issues of distance to good schools, teaching capacity and the use of academy sponsor coverage as an indicator.

SCHOOLS NorthEast will continue to feed into the Government’s work on Achieving Excellence Areas. We would like to hear from schools that have comments on the current methodology.




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