A SUNDERLAND teacher has set out on a journey to help tackle educational disadvantage.
Kaylie Cowling, head of ICT at Pennywell’s Academy 360, is one of 10 teachers from the North East,who have joined a group of middle leaders from secondary schools, to target areas of deprivation.
Teaching Leaders is an educational charity with outstanding middle leaders who measurably improve student results in schools working in challenging circumstances across the country.
Those on the programme have so far delivered an average increase of 15 per cent in the number of students gaining good GCSEs, and the aim is to share skills and best practice.
Kaylie went along to an induction day for the charity’s two-year impact programme, held at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, which was founded on the history of reformers who worked for equal life chances for all.
She said: “It was extremely exciting for me to meet so many other middle leaders working in schools in challenging circumstances.”
Kaylie has already helped boost results at Academy 360 through her ICT improvement project, from 25 per cent of students gaining GCSE grade A-C to the expected 80 per cent this summer.
She said: “We’re over the moon to have increased results so extensively in just two years.
“As I’m only 25 I’ve still got a lot to learn, so I’m hoping Teaching Leaders will give me the skills to support staff and students to achieve their full potential.”
Statistics show young people receiving Free School Meals are 50 per cent less likely to achieve five A*-C grades at GCSE as those from higher income families.
Twenty-eight per cent of young people with no qualifications spend more than 12 months as Neet (Not in Education, Employment or Training) compared to one per cent of their peers.
James Toop, chief executive at Teaching Leaders, said: “More than one in five children in the UK live in severe poverty. For them the link between education and life chances is profound.
“That’s why tackling educational disadvantage is important. Middle leaders are the powerhouse of any school, so giving them the skills to inspire their teams and students to aim higher is key to unlocking potential and breaking the cycle for future generations.”