Five Caerphilly County Borough Schools are to get a share of £20 million to help improve standards.
Bedwas High School, Blackwood Comprehensive School, Heolddu Comprehensive School, St Cenydd School and St Martin’s School have been named as part of the Welsh Government’s Schools Challenge Cymru programme.
They are among 40 schools across Wales to get extra funding, Education and Skills Minister Huw Lewis has announced.
Schools have been chosen using a range of performance data and information that highlights the challenges they face in terms of their circumstances and stage of development.
They have been also been chosen as it is believed they have the potential to deliver swift and positive improvements for learners.
Working with their Schools Challenge Cymru advisor, each school will be given the opportunity to access proven expertise, to deliver a package of support that is individually tailored to meet each school’s needs and the needs of their learners. This will be backed by around £20 million of Welsh Government funding.
The programme will also provide targeted support to participant schools’ cluster primaries in order to address challenges at the earliest opportunity and improve transition between these key stages of education.
Mr Lewis said: “I’ve made no secret of my desire for a relentless focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning here in Wales. These schools have been chosen as we believe they have the potential to make swift and lasting improvements which will benefit learners in the short term and long into the future.
“What we’re doing here in Wales is really special. We’ve learned from the most successful parts of the London and Manchester Challenges and delivered something specifically tailored for our young people in Wales.”
He added: “We must drive up educational standards in Wales for all our learners, raising levels of literacy and numeracy and, in so doing, breaking the link between educational attainment and poverty. Today’s announcement is a major step forward in making that happen.”