Headlines: August 24th, 2001

The Government is pressing ahead with more Education Action Zones (EAZs) to help raise standards in inner-city schools across the country.Part of the Government’s bigger education programme, ‘Excellence in Cities’, each zone focuses on one or more secondary schools and their feeder primaries with the aim of boosting exam results and reducing disaffection.

Each of today’s 23 new action zones will receive a quarter of a million pounds a year for three years, and will have the chance to extend that period to five years. Zones are encouraged to work closely with local businesses and external agencies, and any sponsorship will be matched with extra grant by the DfES pound for pound – up to an additional fifty thousand pounds.

Excellence in Cities is the Government’s programme to raise standards and expectations for young people in urban schools. Nationally, around one-third of secondary school pupils attend an ‘Excellence in Cities’ school, and standards are rising more quickly than the national average.

The new EAZs are in areas like Bristol, Ealing, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Southwark, Wolverhampton, Stoke, Manchester and Stockton.