The role of system leaders in closing the gaps in attainment for those in disadvantaged backgrounds with their peers has never been more important Birmingham education Leader advises government on creating exceptional heads A new scheme to create a national network of outstanding head teachers has been announced today, following recommendations made by Birmingham education leader Sir Christopher Stone. Chris, who is executive head teacher of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), was one of three National Leaders in Education to be chosen by the National College to advise on how to help improve performance in struggling schools across the country. As a result of the NLE’s recommendations, the government is funding a Talented Leaders scheme, which aims to recruit 100 exceptional heads to the most challenging schools over the next two years. The leaders will receive specialist training and mentoring and will work in small clusters with other heads to help other schools improve. Schools Minister David Laws has pledged that the programme will “spread the excellence and expertise of some of our brilliant school leaders.” Chris is recognised as an outstanding leader – providing support for fellow head teachers, both in secondary and primary schools. His particular style is one of coaching and mentoring at all levels. Chris said “The role of system leaders in closing the gaps in attainment for those in disadvantaged backgrounds with their peers has never been more important. Our move, towards a self improving system, coupled with the Arthur Terry Teaching School Alliance, is bringing about improvements in all our schools. All our leaders are encouraged to share effective practice across our region, across our Teaching School Alliance and across our Learning Partnership. We are convinced that the benefits of sharing good practice will be evidenced by 2016 when all our seven schools are judged to be Good or Outstanding” The dynamic leader has played a significant role in education across the city. The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership is a multi-academy trust of primary and secondary schools which are, or have the ability to become Outstanding. The Partnership aims to improve teaching, mentor staff and share best practice to help pupils. “Hopefully, these new leaders will help the situation, particularly in rural and coastal areas.” Chris was recently invited to Downing Street by Prime Minister, David Cameron, to celebrate excellence in education. He was also invited to the House of Lords to share his ideas on education with key government, business and political leaders. Now aged 56, Chris was one of the youngest heads in Birmingham when he joined Perry Beeches School, in 1995 and was the Head teacher of Sutton Coldfield’s Arthur Terry School from April 2000 to December 2011. Praised as being “world class” by Education Secretary Michael Gove, the school is graded as Outstanding by Ofsted in both the 11-16 and 16-19 phase and is one of the first 100 teaching schools in the country. The school is consistently in the top 30 of all mixed community comprehensives as well as being top in Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield. The dynamic leader has played a significant role in education across Birmingham, having acted as Chair of the School Improvement Board in Birmingham (2010-2012), which was charged with leading the strategic programme, with the Department for Education, for improving vulnerable schools across the City. He has worked as a Head teacher Adviser for several Authorities. Between 2005 and 2007 he was a member of the first Specialist Schools Academies Trust (SSAT) cohort to undertake the Executive Head teachers Programme. 2007 saw him invited to Downing Street to meet the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, in relation to Sir Christopher’s work with Extended Schools. In 2010 Sir Christopher undertook a visit for the British Council to train education leaders in Vietnam and in 2011 he visited Australia to investigate the innovative University Schools programme. In 2004 he was asked by the British Council and the Dress to work with Finnish Ministers and educational leaders, and in 2002 he was selected to work with South Lanarkshire to present proposals to the Scottish Government. Chris was knighted in 2013 for his outstanding service to education. He has recently received an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University in recognition of his hard work. He has now met with three different Prime Ministers, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Chris is committed to placing the child at the heart of school improvement and his belief in a relentless focus on leadership, learning and teaching helps schools to improve on their previous best.