Head teachers at six Birmingham schools have joined forces in a bid to boost education standards in the city.
Two secondary schools, Arthur Terry School in Four Oaks and Stockland Green School, have teamed up with four local primaries to form a partnership with the aim of making all six schools outstanding in future.
The coalition, which is being overseen by Arthur Terry head teacher Chris Stone, will see heads and governors working together to improve teaching, mentoring staff and sharing best practice to help pupils.
Primary schools in the partnership are Slade Junior and Infant School and Brookvale Primary School in Erdington, as well as Mere Green Primary School and Hill West Primary School, both in Sutton Coldfield.
News of the partnership comes after Arthur Terry was praised for being “world class” by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Mr Stone, who has been a head teacher for nearly 20 years, said: “These head teachers represent all that is good in education today.
“They are talented, ambitious for their children and display the professional standards needed to lead successful schools.
“Slade is a sponsored academy because it had been under-performing but it has a new head and leadership team, and we have been working to improve standards there. The improvement has been phenomenal in a short period of time. The other three schools are very good, but could become outstanding.”
Mr Stone, who also heads up Birmingham’s Schools Improvement Board, said the partnership aimed to develop coaching and mentoring in schools and to make teaching across the six schools outstanding.
He added: “It’s a cliche, but children only get the one chance for an education, and unless you get it right from the beginning up until when they leave, then they just fall behind.
“You can’t make the gains or bridge the gaps for children without outstanding teaching.
“There is a relentless focus on only accepting the very, very best, and my job as executive head across the six schools is to make that happen.”
Arthur Terry, along with Perry Beeches the Academy in Great Barr, was singled out for special mention in a keynote speech and a Parliamentary debate by Mr Gove last month, in which he said they were among the education elite in the UK.
His comments come just two months after the Tory minister told the Birmingham Post some city schools were “not good enough” and that “determined action” was needed.
In a Commons debate on education reform, Mr Gove said: “Birmingham is the youngest city in Britain and its multicultural traditions are part of its strength, but it is important to recognise that, although there are some excellent schools, such as Perry Beeches and Arthur Terry, there are some under-performing schools.”
Also playing a key role in the partnership is Stockland Green School.
The school has seen GCSE results treble over the past three years, and was placed in the top ten per cent of most improved schools nationwide in a poll by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, which ranked every school in the country according to how much progress they made in their 2011 GCSE results.
Stockland Green, which was rated “good” by Ofsted in November 2010, is also set to be used as a case study by the government watchdog on improving schools.
Head teacher Neil Wallace said: “The aspirations, experiences and achievement of everyone connected with the school have been transformed over the last three years and we eagerly await record examination results this summer.”