A NEW initiative spearheaded by Malvern schools is set to be extended throughout Worcestershire.

The county's director of education, Julien Kramer, wants all schools to commit themselves to Investors in People.

So far, 150 of the county's 300 schools, including four from the Malvern area, have already embraced the scheme or are about to do so.

In order to gain the accolade, schools must prove to inspectors that they are providing training and support for all their staff on an ongoing basis.

Dyson Perrins CE High School, Hanley Castle High School, Northleigh Primary and St Joseph's Primary are all long-standing members of the scheme.

Peter Buchanan, headteacher at Dyson Perrins, said: "We signed up to Investors in People around ten months ago.

"I think it's an excellent way of making sure that we're doing the best we can for our staff and that they, in turn, are doing the best they can for our pupils.

"Our staff are our most important and valuable resource and it can only be good for education across the county if other schools are signing up."

His sentiments were echoed by Ann-Marie Wallbank, head of St Joseph's Primary School.

"We were delighted to be among the first schools in the county to join the scheme," she said.

"Gaining Investors in People status means involving everyone in the school and making sure they are receiving proper training, and it's not just about the teachers- the idea is that everybody who works here makes a contribution.

"It's a very positive thing that makes for a happy school, as everyone feels involved."