Children in England missed more normal, face-to-face education than anywhere in Europe during the pandemic – on average 115 out of 190 learning days. This disruption has had significant impact on their academic achievement and is set to have a long tail of mental health repercussions. Evidence tells us that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately affected, and we know that child poverty rates were rising even before the pandemic across the North of Tyne area. Consequently, some of these challenges and issues faced have now intensified. 

The programme has been designed to address the devastating impact the pandemic has had on learning, particularly on our most vulnerable pupils. We have worked with experts, including the Education Directors from our constituent Local Authorities, to develop a local education recovery programme which will complement the national offer and ensure our pupils receive the support they need.  

There are no great schools without great teachers and great leaders. We aim to support these teachers and leaders with a range of activity including an evidence-informed approach to mental health in schools and a local leadership development offer which will complement national programmes.  

We want more North of Tyne children to be ready for school when they enter the education system and recognise a need to address performance at transition points. We are working with experts to prepare more children for a successful start and help more schools to engage in early literacy interventions. We are also supporting successful transition into the secondary phase by developing innovative solutions with our existing expert practitioners.  

We are supporting pathways to careers for all pupils, by helping schools work with local employers to develop curricula, complementing the work we have started with our apprenticeships hub.  

The Education Improvement Programme for the North of Tyne is delivered as part of North of Tyne Combined Authority’s (NTCA’s) Education, Skills and Inclusion portfolio priority and exemplifies a commitment to thinking creatively and progressively about the widest implications of an inclusive economy.   

The Programme has five objectives, as identified in the Joint School Improvement Strategy 

Infographic of the Education Improvement Objectives


Objective 1 is supporting COVID-19 recovery across the North of Tyne, using a school-led approach in tandem with input from leaders from across the education system.  

Objective 2 supports the professional development of school leaders, filling gaps that exists in the education landscape by using innovative new partnership and cohort approaches.  

Objective 3 is working across all transition phases in schools, from Early Years Foundation Stage to supporting the successful transition of pupils from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 through an enhanced careers education offer.  

Objective 4 focusses on improving literacy outcomes for our most disadvantaged children.  

Objective 5 is providing support to secondary and middle school curriculum leaders and teachers to engage effectively with local employers, empowering young people at Key Stage 3 with the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions. 

Our newsletter, Insights, provides regular updates on our progress against these objectives, and is available to download below.

Insights Issue one October 2022

For further information about the Education Improvement Programme, contact