HEADTEACHERS and community workers have heard how schools in deprived areas of Bournemouth are to benefit from the support of a group of educational charities.

Achieve Together will work with 14 schools in the Boscombe and West Howe areas, to help provide them with ‘high calibre’ new trainee teachers and extra training for senior staff, from September.

Banking firm JP Morgan, which has some 4,000 employees based in Bournemouth, is funding the project with a £1.1million donation.

Former Labour education minister Lord Adonis told representatives from Bournemouth Council, Boscombe Regeneration Partnership and local businesses that ‘no school is better than its teachers’ at Bethany Junior School in Boscombe.

Lord Adonis, who is championing the project, said: “Schools here are facing some huge challenges, poverty, and there are 38 different languages here and large numbers of youngsters who start at school speaking no English whatsoever.

“Tackling this requires getting the brightest and best into teaching and ensuring we have outstanding leadership. If we put these two together we will have outstanding schools.”

Sarah Connor, a director for Achieve Together, which is made up of the charities Teach First, Teaching Leaders and Future Leaders, said one of the goals in Bournemouth was to develop greater community engagement.

“This will be a pilot project as we haven’t really focussed on community engagement elsewhere,” she said.

“It is an opportunity to talk to other organisations and businesses about young people in this community and what we can do to help them achieve their potential.”

She said this might involve businesses offering mentoring, work placements or apprenticeships.

The project was welcomed by Bournemouth Council.

Carole Aspden, service director for children and young people, said: “There is a need for this, and without JP Morgan we wouldn’t have this opportunity.

“The mentoring and coaching from Achieve Together will allow good teachers at our schools to move on to the next level, while the community engagement will help us raise students’ aspirations by showing them what they can achieve.”

Bethany Junior School headteacher Stephen Orman added: “This is a fantastic initiative which is expected to make a real difference to children in Bournemouth.

“It won’t just be the participating schools which will benefit, there will be work with the wider community. It is great to see businesses investing in the education of children.”