The Welsh government says the schools have been picked using a range of performance data. It said the schools’ potential to deliver swift and positive improvements for learners had also been taken into account.
The 40 “Pathways to Success Schools” will be able to access proven expertise in order to deliver a package of support that is tailored to meet the needs of their learners.
The project, part of the Schools Challenge Cymru programme, has been inspired by similar schemes in England.
Targeted support will also be provided to participant schools’ cluster primaries in a bid to address challenges at the earliest opportunity and improve transition between key stages of education.
Wales education minister Huw 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.
“It makes full use of some of our finest practitioners and highest performing schools to form partnerships and to share expertise. The knowledge and expertise that is needed to improve already exists within the Welsh education system and we must exploit it. We must make the best practices available to all children and young people in Wales.
“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. This announcement is a major step forward in making that happen.”
Wales’ Schools Challenge Cymru Champion will be Professor Mel Ainscow of the University of Manchester. Mr Lewis added: “He will make a real difference, providing knowledge,