Press release

160,000 children set to benefit from talented primary school leaders

David Laws announces £7.4 million to help develop primary school leaders of the future.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Teacher working with a girl

More than a hundred thousand children in challenging primary schools will receive extra help from specially trained teachers after Schools Minister David Laws announced £7.4 million to help develop primary school leaders of the future.

The scheme – called Teaching Leaders Primary – sees primary teachers, or so called ‘middle leaders’, already working in challenging schools and with the potential to become outstanding leaders, put through a rigorous 2-year training programme which develops their skills and helps them get the most from pupils.

A total of 160,000 children aged from 5 to 11 from disadvantaged backgrounds will benefit over the next 4 years. In its first year, the programme will be open to 1,200 primary teachers in London, Manchester and Birmingham, and also in specific areas of need – like Hull, Norfolk and Blackpool.

Schools Minister David Laws said:

We know there is a strong link between school leadership, quality of teaching, and outcomes for pupils. Outstanding leadership is crucial in getting the most from pupils, and we know that this is increasingly important in primary schools.

This funding will allow Teaching Leaders to expand their success with promising teachers in secondary schools to those at primary level. Now primary teachers with the potential to be outstanding heads will get the support they need to become the best school leaders of tomorrow.

This forms part of the government’s drive to deliver the best schools and skills for young people so the next generation can succeed. In the growing diversity of the school system middle leaders play a vital role in supporting disadvantaged pupils and closing the attainment gap between them and their peers.

James Toop, CEO of Teaching Leaders, said:

High-quality middle leadership is the essential element to ensuring consistently excellent teaching in every classroom, which we know makes the greatest difference in closing the achievement gap for our most disadvantaged pupils. This funding means that we can work with middle leaders in the primary phase to address the achievement gap earlier in a child’s education.

Alison Peacock DBE, Headteacher at Wroxham School, said:

Teaching Leaders Primary is an exciting opportunity for primary middle leaders. The innovative, bespoke model designed specifically for and developed with school leaders in primary schools shows that Teaching Leaders understands middle leadership in primary and will bring real impact to schools in the most challenging contexts.

Notes to editors

  1. Applications for Teaching Leaders Primary can be submitted until 19 June 2014 via the Teaching Leaders website.

  2. The programme begins in August 2014. Further information can be found on the Teaching Leaders Primary webpage.

  3. Teaching Leaders is an independent education charity which addresses educational disadvantage by developing middle leaders in schools in challenging contexts (see below for eligibility details).

  4. Last year the government announced extra funding to develop so-called ‘middle leaders’ in secondary schools - more than doubling the number of secondary teaching leaders from 766 currently to 1,706 by 2015. More information can be found in the press release.

  5. Set up in partnership with the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), Teach First, ARK and Future Leaders in 2008, Teaching Leaders now works with around 444 schools and 776 teachers.

  6. The eligibility criteria for schools are:

  • Ever 6 FSM (children who have been eligible for free school meals at any point over the last 6 years) of 50% or over
  • Ever 6 FSM of 25% to 50% with fewer than 75% of these disadvantaged pupils achieving level 4 or above in English and maths
  • fewer than 60% of pupils achieving level 4 or above in reading, writing and mathematics

DfE enquiries

Published 6 June 2014