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Schools standards minister Estelle Morris today praised the work of ...
Schools standards minister Estelle Morris today praised the work of

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

they are to be extended. A decision on these 5 EAZs will be taken

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

national average

- 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.


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.

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