Funding bid to re-build the entire North-East education system

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.
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A COUNCIL director is calling for Government support for a project which hopes to secure millions of pounds to re-build the North-East’s education system.

Gill Alexander is involved in a project which will see headteachers, governors and council leaders draw up a master plan to improve results in some of the region’s worst-performing schools.

Gill Alexander

Gill Alexander

Ms Alexander is the director of child and adult services at Hartlepool Borough Council and was speaking on behalf of the group of directors of children’s services in the North East. Ms Alexander said improving school grades and raising the number studying at higher education will require more than just money.

The North East Schools Challenge is part of a £200m-a-year set of proposals. Plans were first recommended by Lord Adonis, based on a London scheme in which £80m was spent turning around results in inner-city schools.

Ms Alexander said: “If we can secure even half of what the London scheme received that will go a long way to helping achieve the aspirations of young people across the region. The North East LEP has asked for £30m, but that’s not the only challenge we face.

“The Adonis Review called for more and better jobs in the North-East and that has to start at a school level. We need to build the right skills in young people from cradle to career.

“This is about ambition – we are not about saying the North-East is in trouble. But to achieve that ambition we need the Government’s support and financial backing.”

Ms Alexander joined the council last July.