£750,000 pledge to raise school standards on North Yorkshire’s coast

South Bay, Scarborough. 31st August 2016. Picture: Ceri Oakes
South Bay, Scarborough. 31st August 2016. Picture: Ceri Oakes

A PROJECT to attract and retain more good teachers in a coastal town is being carried out as part of major drive to raise school standards.

North Yorkshire County Council is to spend £750,000 on the Scarborough Pledge.

It involves several new schemes to help early years, primary and secondary schools in the area.

The authority said the aim of the Pledge is to “improve educational attainment, increase cultural, training and work opportunities and broaden horizons for young people along this coastal area”.

It comes as a report by the British Hospitality Association highlighted the “special, urgent and nationally important case” for targeted economic action to regenerate seaside towns to increase work and education opportunities.

One of the key areas of work for North Yorkshire’s plan is looking to tackle teacher recruitment on the coast and improving teaching staff training and development.

As part of this “lead practitioners” in literacy and science have been appointed to work across the town’s secondary schools.

To improve early years help for children and families parents are being encouraged to support children’s language development through learning common rhymes and songs and also through a ‘ditch the dummy’ campaign.

And the council says that it is also looking to building capacity among primary school staff to support speech and language development

The pledge is funding the appointment of a speech and language therapist working in five pilot primary schools which could be extended if the projects is deemed successful.

North Yorkshire County Council said the aims of the Pledge are:

An overall improvement of educational standards;

A closing of the attainment gap for the most disadvantaged young people;

A reduction of the number of young people who are not in education, training or employment

An increase in the recruitment and retention of good teachers in key subjects;

Parents better equipped to support their children’s learning

The first work kick-started last summer with the launch of the Scarborough Literacy Strategy.

This brought together 70 English teachers and literacy leads from primary and secondary schools. The strategy is supporting literacy practice in all schools through three main strands: stories, books and parents; the transition challenge; literacy through film.

Coun Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s executive member for the Children and Young People’s Service said: “The Pledge represents a total commitment to changing prospects for the better for the young in coastal communities.

“Much is already being done, the opportunities are there, but we now plan to do more.

“The Pledge is about championing Scarborough, its culture, its families and its young 
people and looking to a vibrant future.”