beacon schools

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Schools identified by their local authority or by central government as national examples of best practice. They may be nursery, primary, secondary, or special schools. In being awarded this status, it is expected that they will act as beacons of achievement to other schools, working in partnership with them, sharing their successful practice, and thereby helping to raise standards nationally. To this end, they are awarded extra funds on an annual basis to finance development activities. The majority of schools chosen as beacon schools are in urban areas, and they are partnered with schools whose performance is deemed to be in need of improvement, often in areas of urban or rural social deprivation. The initiative itself, which was based on an idea originating from the United States of America, was first implemented in England in 1998. The 2001 Green Paper Schools: Building on Success argued for an increase in the number of beacon schools, and suggested a scheme for the creation of advanced beacon schools which would identify those which demonstrated exceptionally high performance.

Subjects: Education.

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