A further 125 schools have been given Beacon status and they will implement programmes from September. The Beacon School scheme started in 1998 with 75 schools.
Schools are selected on a criteria of excellence and they use funding to pursue particular activities such as reducing teacher bureaucracy. The key function of a Beacon School is to share good practice and innovation. This is done through seminars to teachers/governors from other schools; mentoring; workshadowing; provision of in-service training; consultancy; using the Internet to spread good practice and developing partnerships with Initial Teacher Training institutions/local schools/LEAs.
In this year’s expansion, there is a strong emphasis on areas of deprivation and disadvantage, with over half of the new Beacons being focused on urban authorities.
Beacon schools are playing a key part in the drive to raise standards. The ultimate aim is a national Beacon network of 1000 schools sharing good practice and innovation.