New teaching hubs – but not in Somerset

The way government planning works! You would not imagine that we had five Conservative MPs out of five in the Somerset County Council area. Today it was announced that 10 new Teaching School Hubs would be rolled out across South West. The hubs are to be backed by £65million of new government funding. This would be a welcome injection to the education of Somerset children and their teachers. But see below.

They will, we are told “provide high-quality professional development to teachers and leaders at all stages of their career.”

They will “play a key role in helping to build up trainee teachers as they enter the workforce.”

They won’t be in Somerset.

Every county in the South West is to have at least two hubs. But Somerset, BANES and North Somerset will have none.

Each hub will have its own defined geographical patch, serving around 250 schools on average. In Somerset, whatever world class facilities are to be provided, will come from Bristol. The hubs are set to run for an initial three years.

No doubt most of the learning and distribution of services will be online. But there is investment too. And that investment will not be made in Somerset, even if Somerset children do derive some benefit. Will inner city schools in Bristol be best placed to provide learning and excellence for children growing upm in a rural county?

The absence of the hub and the absence of a centre of excellence speaks volumes. It is a smack in the face for teachers and education staff in the county. It will be a smack in the face for the future education of Somerset children.

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