Teacher selected to help failing schools

Jill Forster with pupils Rose and Alfie (both aged eight).
Jill Forster with pupils Rose and Alfie (both aged eight).

A primary school headteacher and her staff have been selected to support schools in challenging circumstances.

Jill Forster, of Benton Dene Primary School in Longbenton, is one of only 96 headteachers nationally to be appointed to the role of National Leader of Education (NLE) in the latest recruitment round.

She will be invited to the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s learning and conference centre in the autumn for a formal induction and training for the role in driving school improvement.

NLEs use their success and professionalism as school leaders, along with the staff in their school – designated a National Support School – to provide additional leadership capability in struggling schools or those in transition to federation or academy status.

Mrs Forster said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been selected for this role. For a number of years, our school has been involved in school-to-school support and our excellent staff has provided high quality coaching and mentoring to colleagues in schools.

“This designation as a National Support School will allow us to continue to build capacity to work collaboratively with schools in difficult or challenging circumstances and enjoy the benefits of working together to raise pupils’ achievement and attainment.”

Coun Ian Grayson, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “It’s great that Jill and her team are looking beyond their own school gates and will be passing on their knowledge and expertise to colleagues in schools in difficult circumstances. They’re a credit to their school and are very highly regarded.”