The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced plans to set up a dedicated unit at city hall to secure new sites for free schools. The move is part of his ambition to gain strategic oversight over education across London to drive up standards further, despite the capital already outperforming the rest of the country. The mayor, who has no formal powers over school education, will also announce on Friday his intention to set up a “London curriculum” for lower secondary school children using the city as an “educational tool”. A new fund to promote teaching excellence and help tackle underperformance – particularly in literacy and numeracy, science, technology, engineering and maths – will also be made known. City hall said the Department for Education had given its support for the fund “in principle”, subject to further discussions. The mayor, a champion of the government’s school reforms, intends to set up a “New Schools for London” unit to help groups wishing to open a new school but struggling to find sites in a city with high land and property costs. Johnson signalled plans to offer up land and some of the property portfolio owned by the Greater London Authority, though… Read full this story
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