the first 25 Education Action Zones (EAZs) and announced that 20 of
them are now ready to be extended for a further two years. The five
remaining EAZs will need to produce further plans for improvement if
will be taken at the end of the year.
The signs of improvement in Education Action Zones include:
- at Key Stage 2 Maths an improvement of more than 4% above the
- at GCSE the number of pupils gaining 5 or more Grade A-Cs improved
at twice the rate of schools outside the Zones,
- and significantly improved attendance in some Zones, particularly
Sheffield, Newham and Wigan, as many EAZs have acted firmly to
deal with truancy.
Ms Morris said:
'All 25 first round EAZs are doing well and are committed to
providing a first class education service for their pupils. They are
making a big contribution towards raising standards in their Zones
and have had some real successes in bringing on board business
partners and sponsors. The exam results for last year in EAZs were
very encouraging, and the good and innovative work they are doing
means that 20 out of 25 first round EAZs are now ready, or shortly
will be, for a two year extension.
'There is huge enthusiasm for zones in participating schools from
headteachers, teachers, pupils and parents, in the local communities,
and especially from the business partners. Collaboration between
schools has been improved as the Zones have fostered a more
co-operative learning environment with people working together to
achieve the best results.
'The money pledged by private sector business sponsorship for
Education Action Zones has been increasing every day and it is
currently running at£43m with many of those who work most closely
with the Zones being from national and local businesses.
'That investment together with the£94m that the government
has put into EAZs will make a lasting impact on the education of
children in the Zone schools.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
1. The 20 EAZs which will be extended are: Barnsley, Birmingham
(Kitts Green/Shard End), Blackburn with Darwen, Brighton, East
Basildon, Halifax, Hereford, Hull, Lambeth, Leicester, Leigh
(Wigan), Middlesbrough, Newham, Newcastle, Nottingham, Salford &
Trafford, Sheffield, South Tyneside, Southwark, Weston super Mare.
2. The five EAZs which have been asked to provide further evidence
before being extended are: Birmingham (Aston Nechells), Croydon
(New Addington), Grimsby, Plymouth and Thetford.