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Three-year cash lure for teachers; POLITICS Push to keep best teachers in the most challenging schools.

Byline: JONATHANWALKER Political Editor

At least 27 Birmingham schools are to offer teachers a pounds 10,000 "golden handcuff" to stick with them for three years.

The deal is designed to tempt the best teachers to the most challenging schools - and to stay for as long as possible.

It was part of a package of measures to help children from the poorest backgrounds aim for top jobs in adult life, overseen by Birmingham MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill).

In his role as Minister for the Cabinet Office, he co-ordinated Government departments to draw up a White Paper on social mobility, published yesterday.

The Government will make funding available from September for schools to pay teachers a pounds 10,000 bonus for joining, on condition they serve for at least three years.

Cash will be available to schools where at least 30 per cent of pupils are eligible for free school meals, suggest ingit serves a deprived community, and schools where fewer than 30 per cent of pupils achieve five GCSEs at grade C or above.

Schools Secretary Ed Balls last year warned schools failing to attain the exam target had until 2011 to improve results or face closure. They could be taken over by more successful colleges, or closed and re-opened as a new academy.

In Birmingham, 27 of 75 secondary schools were below the GCSE target last year and officially designated "national challenge" schools. The latest GCSE results are duet his week, although schools which improve their performance to meet the 30 per cent mark will continue to receive extra support until 2011.

Mr Byrne said: "Our argument is that, if we are to succeed in the future, we have to invest in aspiration today.

"Supporting people to turn their opportunities into success is not cost-free, it does need investment."

The plans were launched by Gordon Brown in Downing Street where he was joined by Mr Byrne and other Ministers including Mr Balls. The Prime Minister said Britain needed to prepare for the end of the recession, which included investing in education and skills.

Other measures in the White Paper includes a guarantee that vulnerable mothers will have access to a dedicated family nurse during pregnancy and for the first two years of childhood.

A total of 35,000 new apprenticeship places will be created to ensure all qualified young people have the right to an apprenticeship by 2013. Young people from low income households will receive help to go to university while a panel will identify and remove barriers preventing fair access to professional jobs.

Existing professionals can retrain and gain new skills through a trebling of professional and career development loans - from 15,000 to 46,000 - in the next two years.

There will be an employment support programme for young people leaving care and a pounds 500 back-to-work entitlement for parents and other carers who take up jobs after five years or more of caring for someone. A full-time vocational volunteering programme across 33 local authorities will provide places for people not in education, training, or employment.

"Supporting people to turn their opportunities into success is not cost-free

LIAM BYRNE MP
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 14, 2009
Words:526
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