The Education Secretary Damian Hinds will today announce a great new initiative - "Opportunity North East". For the third year in a row, ours is the highest performing region outside London for primary education - but this isn't translating into outcomes from secondary and post-16 education.
Opportunity North East will bring together educators and employers from across the area, with a particular focus on Redcar & Cleveland, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Northumberland.
The Government will invest up to £24m over the next three years to deliver a focussed programme to address the specific challenges - from teacher recruitment to careers education. You can read full details here.
This is great news and is something local heads asked for when I brought Damian to meet them in Guisborough in his first month in the job. It fits in perfectly with one of my top priorities - ensuring the next generation of local young people benefit from the jobs Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, and I are working so hard to help deliver.