There are a large number of measures aimed at 'shifting the focus from the institution to the individual', 'stretching every gifted pupil' and meeting special needs, according to education secretary David Blunkett.
The local education authorities involved are Tower Hamlets, Sheffield, Manchester, Slough, Bradford, Southwark, Birmingham, Knowsley, Camden and Hackney.
Knowsley MBC education director Peter Wylie welcomed the scheme: 'It puts together a series of comparatively unconnected initiatives in a way that connects up.' He said it needed to include all schools in the borough to be effective.
There will also be a low-cost home computer lease scheme.