Ipswich to get slice of £40m under new government education scheme

Ipswich has been named as one of 24 Priority Education Investment Area by the government. 

Ipswich has been named as one of 24 Priority Education Investment Area by the government. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ipswich has been named as a Priority Education Investment Area, meaning schools can access a £40m pot and extra support for young people. 

The government has chosen 24 of its 55 education investment areas for the scheme with those Priority Education Investment Areas receiving tailored support to address local needs.

The £40m of extra cash will be split across three years and could be used to access pilot programmes to improve absences and retention payments to maintain teacher retention.

Further support could be provided to improve digital connections, launch leadership development programmes and new specialist sixth form free schools. 

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt.

Tom Hunt responded to the announcement Ipswich was a priority education area. - Credit: House of Commons

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said in addition to the town's status as a government opportunity area, he felt the town was getting somewhere when it comes to "getting fairer funding for Ipswich schools."

He said: "Investing in education is about opportunity. The Education Investment Area funding is designed to increase opportunities for pupils. Ipswich is a priority for this, with lots of potential which schemes like the teacher retention fund will help unlock.

"As one of only 12 opportunity areas and now one of only 24 priority education investment areas, it does feel like we are getting somewhere when it comes to getting fairer funding for Ipswich schools."

The government made the announcement as part of its White Paper, which set out its plans for schools including that by 2030 90% of children leaving primary school in England reach the expected standards in maths and English.

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Schools in areas that have been judged less than Good in successive Ofsted inspections could be moved into strong multi-academy trusts, to attract more support and the best teachers, subject to a consultation in the spring. 

Mr Hunt added aspects of the national funding formula still needed reforming especially around SEND funding. 

Mr Hunt said: "Levelling the playing field, making sure we are providing the best opportunities for pupils in Ipswich, especially those from deprived areas, is something I have always considered a key priority as MP."