THREE schools have been awarded a special standard of excellence allowing them to provide teacher training and attempt to improve school standards across Castle Point.

Appleton School, in Croft Road, Benfleet, King John School, in Shipwrights Drive, Thundersley, and Kingston Primary School, in Church Road, Benfleet, are three of the 500 schools in England to be granted teaching school status by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

Teaching schools, all rated as “outstanding”, take a leading role in recruiting and training teachers, identify leadership potential and providing support for other schools.

The three are all part of the Benfleet Teaching School Alliance, which was set up to improve Castle Point education.

Margaret Wilson, headteacher at The King John School, said: “Our aim is to raise standards in Essex schools by building a culture of aspiration, challenge and excellence.”

The schools will work with others, and universities, and provide support to ensure teachers receive high-quality training.

They will also take part in research and development, and find talented school leaders who can go on to become successful headteachers.

The news comes as the Appleton School has also been placed in the top 20 per cent of schools across the country for value added results – which means the progress students make at school.

They received the recognition from the Government’s Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.

Karen Kerridge, headteacher at Appleton School, said: “We are delighted to take on this new role and use the experience and expertise we have gained to promote opportunity and excellence for all in our schools both locally and further afield.”

Tania Perry spokeswoman for Kingston Primary School said: “The alliance aims to support all schools across all phases and we hope that colleagues, children and young people across the county will see the benefits of being involved.”

Charlie Taylor, the chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said: “The schools should be proud of their teaching school status.

“It recognises each school’s outstanding performance and track record of raising standards through supporting other schools.”

Staff from the successful schools will attend a formal induction led by the Teaching Schools Council this month.