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teachfirstlogoThe Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, met representatives of the leading education charity, Teach First, on Tuesday to discuss how best to deliver a boost to school standards across the Isle of Wight and to establish it as a “beacon of excellence in teacher training and career development’.

Mr Turner said:

“If we are to continue the improvements in educational outcomes for the children of the Island we must recruit, retain and motivate the best possible teachers. I was greatly encouraged by today’s briefing meeting at which Teach First shared their determination to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to make the Island a beacon of excellence in teacher training and career development. I’ll be giving them all the help that I can.”

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mpwestminsterteachfirstThe meeting was arranged by Cllr Chris Whitehouse (Newport West Ward), Education Spokesman for the Conservative Group of Isle of Wight Councillors, who has said:

“I set out my aspirations for school improvement in a recent article for the Conservative Home website, committing that Island Conservatives will be relentless in their pursuit of educational improvement should we take back the Council in May 2017. The creation of a beacon of excellence for teacher training and career development is an integral part of that strategy. If we can achieve that objective, we will not only attract the best teachers, but also ensure that they stay for longer to benefit from leadership development opportunities that we hope to put in place. I am impatient for progress on behalf of all our children and want to deliver a paradigm shift in the way the best teachers think about the Island and the opportunities it offers for personal and career development.”

Teach First South East and South Coast Director, Helen O’Connor, who has led work to place Teach First trainee teachers on the Island and has recently met with school leadership teams and other key education stakeholders, adds:

“Teach First is working towards a day when all children will have fair educational opportunities regardless of their economic background. Our vision is to work with educational and political leaders, teachers and key stakeholders on the island to ensure that the achievement gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their more affluent counter-parts is closed. The Isle of Wight is a wonderful environment in which to grow up and we want to work in collaboration with all interested parties to ensure that young people can thrive and make real choices about their futures with an excellent educational foundation to build on ”.

Featured photo L-R: Helen O’Connor and Jess Johnson from Teach First; Andrew Turner and Cllr Chris Whitehouse in the MP’s office in the Palace of Westminster

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