Department for Education

Department for Education ministerial portfolios announced, 3rd July

Justine Greening Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities. She will continue to have overall responsibility for the Department for Education and the Government Equalities Office.
Nick Gibb Will continue as Minister of State for School Standards, and has also been appointed Minister for Equalities.
Robert Goodwill Has been appointed Minister of State for Children and Families.
Jo Johnson Will continue as Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation covering both the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, where his role has been expanded.
Anne Milton Has been appointed as the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills and Minister for Women.
Lord Nash Will continue as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System.

Justine Greening: Speech at the Business and Education Summit, 6th July 2017

Education Secretary Justine Greening set out her mission to spark the skills revolution needed to help Britain make a success of leaving the European Union.

In a keynote speech to business leaders at the British Chambers of Commerce Education summit, Justine Greening told business leaders that the country can only rise to the challenge of developing the skills and talents of our young people if government and business work together.

She said:

‘I want to create an army of skilled young people for British business. But I need your help. Government can’t do it alone.

Because that’s what we need, never more than now. A skills revolution for Brexit Britain. That’s the real strategy on migration.

Great companies need great people. And my Department has a mission to give our young people the very best start – to become those great people.

The introduction of T-Levels will be the next stage in this journey - a gold standard for technical and professional excellence. Offered alongside apprenticeships, they will form the basis of our new technical education system.

Delivering these reforms will be a challenge. I am clear there is only one way to get this right – through a genuine partnership between business, government and education professionals. This means we need a collective plan. One plan. One team. for skills.

A skills revolution. A technical education revolution. That is how we meet those challenges – head on. It’s how we build our future.

Justine Greening also announced:

  • £50 million investment from April 2018 to fund high quality work placements -a key component of every T Level – to help prepare young people for skilled work
  • £15m to contribute to improvements in further education so we have the colleges and teachers we need to deliver the new T levels
  • Plans to bolster the role of the current Further Education Commissioner - Richard Atkins - who will take on responsibility for Further Education Colleges and Sixth Form Colleges
  • Plans for a Department for Education summit with businesses in the autumn to start developing the T level curriculum

See also: Corybn and Greening clash on skills gap, 6th July

Preventing and Tackling Bullying: Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies, 4th July Guidance (republished- last updated in Nov 2014 with cyberbullying details for schools and parents)

The republished document has merged the publication 'Supporting children and young people who are bullied: advice for schools' with 'Preventing and tackling bullying'.

This new version of 'Preventing and tackling bullying' includes additional information about how schools can support children and young people who are bullied.

Improvement notice issued to Knowsley council, 5th July 2017

An improvement notice was issued to Knowsley metropolitan borough council due to poor performance in children's social care services.

Improvement notice issued to Coventry city council, 5th July 2017

Improvement notice issued to Coventry city council due to poor performance in children's social care services. 

Department for Education- Research

Innovation in social care assessments for disabled children, 6th July.

This research report summarises the activity and findings of Coram’s evaluation of the Innovation in Social Care Assessments for Disabled Children and Young People Programme led by the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) and funded by the Department for Education’s (DfE) Social Care Innovation Programme.

The report covers the period May 2015 to September 2016.

The CDC programme involved 5 local authorities developing and testing new approaches to assess disabled children and young people (DCYP) and their families for support.

Key findings

The CDC Learning Model CDC’s programme successfully contributed to some of the Innovation Programme’s objectives.

Local Authority test approaches were generally faster, more proportionate and cost effective than previous processes, with some more effective than others and being recommended for wider use across LAs

The following recommendations were made:

  • an understanding of co-production, how it could create innovative solutions and support a change process. Professionals were directly confronted with views of parent carers who were able to offer suggested solutions to the challenges they identified when accessing support
  • the use of non-social worker roles in the assessment of DCYP. Volunteers and early help workers proved effective in gaining the trust and engagement of parent carers to help them find the appropriate support needed
  • alternative enquiry, referral and assessment routes for DCYP and families with lower level needs, and the use of different media in advertising local services, for example online enquiries and film clips. Families found these alternative systems relatively straight forward to use and generally more accessible than previous processes.

Evaluation of the No Wrong Door Innovation Programme

The North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) No Wrong Door (NWD) innovation provides an integrated service for young people, aged 12 to 25, who either are in care, edging to or on the edge of care, or have recently moved to supported or independent accommodation whilst being supported under NWD.

Key findings show that the NWD innovation has successfully launched within a relatively short time frame: less than 2 years. Evidence from this evaluation indicates that NWD has made substantial progress towards achieving its intended aims. Three hundred and fifty-five young people were supported under NWD between April 2015 and March 2017, the average intervention time was 3 months. The intensity of the support was found to vary over time and was tailored to meet the needs of the young people.

'Signs of safety' practice in children's services: an evaluation

The evaluation of a project piloted in 10 local authorities aimed to improve:

  • the quality of direct social work with children, young people and their families
  • partnership work with parents and families that recognises their strengths and uses these as part of any intervention
  • the quality of planning to support the safety of children and young people
  • the skills and confidence of the social work workforce

Managers and social workers in the 10 pilots were overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of Signs of Safety (SoS) as a practice framework. Implementation challenges included recruitment and retention of social workers, high levels of referrals, constraints on budgets and reorganisations. However, they were optimistic that maintaining SoS would, in the long term, help to address these challenges and strengthen the service they provided to families. There was evidence that SoS was being more widely applied over the timescale of the project but the advances were not always linear, particularly where reorganisations were happening at the same time.

Evaluation of the Gloucestershire innovation project

The aim of Gloucestershire’s social care innovation project was to improve services for vulnerable children and young people aged 10 to 25 and their families, through local systems reform.

The project aimed to:

  • develop a unified service for the most vulnerable young people and their families
  • test a new practical method
  • lessons learnt from the workforce training

Overall findings were mixed and showed that:

It took longer than anticipated to progress the 2 main elements of the project – the organisational model, and the practice model with delays in establishing the unified service. The time taken largely reflects the ambition of the project to engage a range of partners in the service, and the complexity in agreeing integrated governance arrangements to support the proposed unified arrangements.

GCC has retained Ecorys to complete a final summative evaluation of the full roll-out phase. This work will be carried out within the scope of the original evaluation budget, with the data collection and analysis back-weighted to 2017 to better reflect the timescales for the full roll-out of the BASE practice model across Gloucestershire.

Enfield family and adolescent support service

The project looked to provide a full range of support services for young people over the age of 11 and their families.

These services included:

  • psychology
  • mediation
  • learning mentors
  • youth work

Key Findings- Impact on Families- From the period June 2015 to December 2016, FASH data shows it engaged with 246 young people. Where engagement among families was good, the high level of support and challenge delivered by social workers, in partnership with other key professionals, made a positive impact; children and young people have been kept out of care as relationships with their families improved.

Many families interviewed were happy to be receiving support and reported a sense of relief when social workers, with a capacity to make a difference, were assigned to their case.

Compass Service Evaluation

The aim of the Compass service was to build upon the success of a therapeutic education service in Norfolk (the Compass School) through a bespoke multidisciplinary package of care that supported young people who were Looked After Children (LAC) or are at risk of being taken into care, to ensure that they could remain with the family wherever possible and be reunified at the earliest opportunity.

This comprised developing the Compass Outreach Service (COS), the Virtual Residential School (VRS), and the Family Development Unit. This allowed families to receive individualised care designed around their needs.

Evidence suggested that the COS was associated with a reduction in the use of statutory social care services. Furthermore, COS data showed that out of the 16 young people who were living in foster care at referral, 5 were successfully returned to their homes. Data also showed that 11 out of 70 young people who were living at home at referral could not be prevented from going into foster care. In the focus groups, staff described sustained long-term work with children, young people and families as helping to stabilise home environments, reducing out-of-county placements or children becoming looked after, and increasing reunifications.

Stockport Family children’s services project, an evaluation

The project aimed to:

  • change the ways children and families use children’s services
  • reduce the number of family breakdowns.

Findings showed that:

Stockport Council successfully implemented all of its intended activities broadly in line with the programme’s planned timeline. The scope and scale of these changes have been substantial, involving a structural and physical reorganisation through locality-based working and co-location, as well as an attempt to change the overall culture of the organisation, to establish an aligned, restorative focus. It is no small achievement to have implemented these activities in the planned timescale, and for staff to have had a clear understanding of the programme’s aims and objectives since the programme’s inception. In the second wave of the staff survey in 2016, 90% of staff agreed that they understood the Stockport Family way of working. It is important to highlight – particularly when thinking about implications for other authorities – that Stockport Family is a natural continuation of structural and practice changes that were being implemented prior to the Innovation Programme (including co-location and the use of restorative practice in some teams).

Wigan's 'Share service' project: an evaluation examining the effectiveness of the project in providing young people with access to psychiatric and psychological services.

The aim of SHARE (Specialist Health and Resilient Environment), which is an extension or renewal of existing support services provided in routine hours, was to implement a model of supporting young people at risk of becoming engaged with statutory social care services as a result of complex emotional and behavioural problems. SHARE works with young people aged from 11 to 17 over a period of at least 12 weeks, including support for their family and access to psychiatric and psychological services

Key findings (LAC):

Through the implementation of SHARE, evidence from this evaluation suggests that the primary outcome was achieved. Evidence suggests that during SHARE’s single assessment, all 37 young people who entered SHARE between October 2015 and the beginning of October 2016 were reported by staff as being at risk of requiring respite or planned short term breaks (defined as a Child in Need – CIN).

However, during SHARE only 7 (19%) became Children in Need (CIN). After the single assessment, an assessment by a social worker and advanced mental health practitioner identified that 19 (out of the 37) were at risk of becoming looked after (LAC) by the local authority if services did not get involved. Out of these 19, only 2 (11%) became LAC whilst in SHARE.

Newcastle city council’s family insights programme: an evaluation

The programme aims to support social workers and improve their capacity by:

  • improving direct intervention and specialist support
  • improving the collection and analysis of data
  • a commitment to teaching and learning

While the model is appropriate in theory, the evidence collected as part of this evaluation does not provide a solid basis on which to judge the effectiveness of Family Insights in improving outcomes for children and families. There are some indications that the model – notably the systemic practice element - has strengthened social work practice, though this has occurred within units with much reduced caseloads. There is an argument to be made that the success of this intervention will rely as much on the effectiveness of the support available from universal and specialist services as it does the effective implementation of Family Insights.

Extended HOPE project. An evaluation of the project’s effectiveness in providing young people with access to mental health services outside of normal business hours (9am to 5pm).

The aim of Extended HOPE was to build upon the success of the HOPE Day service through the addition of an out-of-hours Assessment and Support Service and through the integration of a Residential Service (such as HOPE House) for young people facing mental health crisis out of hours.

HOPE Day service works at a preventative level with children and young people in the early stages of emotional and mental health difficulties, and is a joint partnership between health, children’s services and education. The service is for 11 to 18 year olds and it is open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00.

The primary outcome of Extended HOPE was that young people’s out-of-hours mental health needs were met by appropriate services. Findings showed that the primary outcome was achieved, as evidence suggests that young people’s out-of-hours mental health needs were met more appropriately by this service.

The secondary outcomes of Extended HOPE were:

  • that families and young people are more resilient by being empowered in relation to both their own mental health, and the services that support them
  • that young people and families report a better experience of services
  • a system change that results in mental health services which are tailored to the needs of young people
  • better emotional wellbeing and mental health for young people in, and on the edge of, care

Regarding the first secondary outcome, young people and parents felt empowered by having someone to talk to and someone who listened to their needs.

In terms of young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health, significant changes in mental health symptoms and overall functioning were not observed. This may be because the effects of the intervention might have not been visible at the second time point, or might be because of small sample sizes in the outcome data.

Belhaven residential care project:

An evaluation of the Belhaven residential care project, which provides mental health treatment to children in care, 6th July 2017.

The project has piloted a new type of residential home. This residential home is known as Belhaven. Belhaven uses an approach that spans 2 regulatory regimes. It aimed to provide a blueprint for similar homes that would provide mental health treatment in a local care home setting to reduce the risk of referral to mental health inpatient services and breakdown of educational and care arrangements for young people.

Although findings were positive , only 5 young people were using the service during the project (this compares to the expected 20). Nonetheless findings showed:

  • the service has led to fewer episodes of hospitalisation for 3 young people, and to avoidance of admission to CAMHS inpatient service in at least one case
  • there have been positive outcomes regarding sustainability of educational placement; lack of breakdown of educational placement and improved educational attainment following admission to the service
  • for some young people, the innovation has resulted in improved relationships with family and friends. However, there is no evidence regarding impact on the likelihood of young people being discharged into the family setting, as just one young person out of the 5 was discharged during the evaluation period
  • there have been positive improvements in mental and emotional health and wellbeing during young people’s time at Belhaven

Evaluation of the Sefton community adolescent service (CAS)

In December 2014, Sefton Council was awarded £1.1m from the Department for Education as part of the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, to establish a new multi -professional service dedicated to vulnerable adolescents aged 12 to 25 years - the Sefton Community Adolescent Service (CAS). The project received a further £3.9m from the Council and local partner organisations, with the aim of bringing about a step change in support for vulnerable young people, and achieving better outcomes.

Key findings showed that overall, the project achieved mixed success. The original plan was overly ambitious, incorporating too many sub-pilots, and the CAS was rolled out while management and supervisory structures were still under development. Nonetheless, there was a boost to management capacity in early 2016 and a new joint protocol, helped to establish a niche for the CAS, bridging Early Help and Children’s Social Care (CSC)

Evidence-informed teaching: evaluation of progress in England

An assessment of how schools and teachers use evidence to improve their teaching. The evaluation provides evidence of: what is currently known about evidence-informed teaching; how schools and teachers use evidence and good practice from highly evidence-engaged schools.

Findings show that:

KEY FINDINGS TEACHERS: Evidence-informed teaching usually meant drawing on research evidence (directly or as translated by school leaders) to integrate and trial in their own practice, rather than directly applying research findings.

Teachers' use of research evidence was prompted by a need to solve a practical problem: for the more research-engaged teachers, research was part of the evidence base they used to achieve this.

Most teachers interviewed did not feel confident in engaging with research directly

KEY FINDING AT SCHOOL LEVEL: The most strongly research-engaged schools were highly effective, well-led organisations within which 'research use' meant integrating research evidence into all aspects of their work as part of an ethos of continual improvement and reflection. In the most highly research-engaged schools, senior leaders played a key role.

See also: TES Government demands leave 'too little time' for teachers to read research, C Santry, 6th July 2017

Department for Education - Further Education

FE data library: English and maths

As part of the July 2017 further education and skills SFR, a data tool allowing the user to easily interrogate particular breakdowns of English and maths has been created. It is in early stages of development, will evolve over time, and be updated on an ad hoc basis initially.


National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 2 in England, 2017 (interim), 4th July 2017

61% of pupils reached the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics in 2017 compared to 53% in 2016.

(To reach the expected standard in all of reading, writing and mathematics, a pupil must achieve a scaled score1 of 100 or more in reading and mathematics tests and a teacher assessment outcome of ‘reaching the expected standard’ or ‘working at a greater depth’ in writing).

Attainment at the expected standard in the reading test increased from 2016 by 5 percentage points to 71%.

In mathematics, the proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard is 75%, up by 5 percentage points Attainment at the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) is 77% compared to 73% in 2016.

Attainment in GPS is the highest of all test subjects.

The proportion reaching the expected standard in the writing teacher assessment (TA) is 76% compared to 74% in 2016.

(Breakdown by characteristic will be published in December 2017)

See also: News Story: Department for Education

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

‘Today’s results show sustained progress in reading, writing and maths and are a testament to the hard work of teachers and pupils across England. Thanks to their commitment and our new knowledge rich curriculum, thousands more children will arrive at secondary school having mastered the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths, giving them the best start in life’.

And also: The BBC Primary tests: Two-fifths fail to meet standard, 4th July 2017

Further education and skills: July 2017, 6th July 2017

Participation at all apprenticeship levels increased in the 2016/17 academic year compared to the same point in 2015/16. The largest increase of 53.1 per cent was seen in higher level apprenticeships, from 38,000 in 2015/16 to 58,200 in 2016/17.

19+ FE participation: Participation in both English and maths and Level 2 courses have decreased, whereas participation on Level 3 and Level 4 courses have increased. Level 4+ courses have increased by 43.0 per cent from 49,200 in 2015/16 to 70,400 in 2016/17.

Starts at all apprenticeship levels have all increased in the 2016/17 academic year compared to the same point in 2015/16. The largest increase of 64.9 per cent was seen in higher level apprenticeships, from 19,200 in 2015/16 to 31,600 in 2016/17.


School inspection update: academic year 2016 to 2017, 7th July

The update emphasizes the importance placed on curriculum in the inspection process, which will continue including with the introduction of the new common inspection framework in September 2019.

Amanda Spielman's speech at the Association of Directors of Children's Services conference, 7th July 2017

Amanda Spielman spoke of the hard work being done across the country by the Children’s Services and the need for this to get better She said that the greatest challenge lay in the quality of provision for children in need of help and protection. She went on to say that is some cases Ofsted inspections were uncovering serious weaknesses around identifying these children, assessing their needs properly at an early stage and giving the right help promptly.

She concluded by highlighting the need to strengthen the relationship between ‘our’ 2 organisations and consolidate the spirit of cooperation over the next 12 months.

International: Wales

Drive to improve education at heart of Estyn review, 4th July

An independent review of the role of Estyn in supporting education reform has today been announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams and the Chief Inspector, Meilyr Rowlands. The review, which will be undertaken by Professor Graham Donaldson, will begin in August and is due to report in early 2018.
The Cabinet Secretary said, “I am grateful to Meilyr for proposing this course of action. I fully support the proposals so that we continue to drive up standards in our education system.
“Our education reforms must be aligned to support the delivery of our new curriculum. I am therefore especially pleased that Professor Donaldson has agreed to take forward the review. He has a wealth of experience of conducting reviews of education systems around the world, including Australia, Portugal, Sweden and Japan.”

Wales leads the way on reform, new blog by Graham Donaldson – Curriculum for Wales, 4th July

Speaking of the education reform programme, Graham Donaldson said:

‘one of the main features of the Welsh educational reform programme is the extent to which it is building from the classroom out. I have had the privilege in the last few weeks of seeing the Welsh approach in action. Pioneer schools, consortia, Estyn and Welsh Government officials are engaged in the hugely complex task of translating the broad direction of Successful Futures into a working curriculum framework. In so doing, they are evaluating evidence of different approaches from across the world, examining research findings and, critically, reflecting on their own experience and that of colleagues in partner schools…………Another important feature of the reform programme here in Wales is its commitment to formative evaluation that can influence the development in real time. Estyn will play a vital part in that formative process and I am delighted to have been asked, jointly by the Cabinet Secretary and the Chief Inspector, to carry out an independent review how that can best be achieved……..’

National Network for Excellence in Mathematics

The National Network for Excellence in Mathematics (NNEM)  has been established in response to the recommendations made in the Welsh Government Mathematics Task and Finish Group report . The aims of the network are to develop, oversee and steer a phased implementation of agreed delivery plans, as part of a national approach to practitioner professional learning, to support the development of effective practice in mathematics pedagogy across Wales for learners aged 3 to 18.

The NNEM will be launched formally on the 14th of July in Cardiff

£4.2m to boost teaching of Welsh

The Welsh Government is investing an extra £4.2m to support the teaching and learning of Welsh and subjects through the medium of Welsh.


EEF publishes five new independent evaluations of funded projects, 5th July

Dialogic Teaching: 78 English primary schools with higher than average proportions of disadvantaged pupils took part in the randomised controlled trial of Dialogic Teachingwhich was devised and piloted by Professor Robin Alexander and developed by the Cambridge Primary Review Trust and the University of York. 

Teachers were trained to deliver the approach, which aims to maximise the power of classroom talk to increase pupils' engagement, learning and attainment.

The independent evaluation by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University found that the 2,493 Year 5 pupils (nine and 10 year olds) who received the intervention made, on average, two months more progress in English and science than a similar group of pupils who did not receive the intervention. The intervention also boosted maths results by two months for pupils in receipt of free school meals and one month overall. Teachers were generally very supportive of the approach but many felt they needed more than two terms to fully embed the approach in their classrooms.

The consistent results across subjects suggest that the approach may improve children’s overall thinking and learning skills rather than their subject knowledge alone.

Thinking, Talking Doing Science: Previous EEF trials which have tested different ways of improving the quality of classroom talk have found similarly positive results. In Thinking Talking, Doing Science, primary school pupils were asked ‘big questions’, like ‘how do we know the earth is a sphere’ to stimulate discussion about scientific topics and the principles of scientific enquiry. Independent evaluators found that pupils participating in the trial made three month’s more progress than a similar group of children who did not take part.

Success for All: Also published are evaluations of different ‘whole school’ approaches to improving outcomes. One of these was Success For All, a structured training and support package that aims to improve literacy results for primary school pupils.

The independent evaluators from Queen’s University Belfast found that Year 1 pupils in the schools who took part in Success for All made about one month’s more progress than children in schools who did not take part in the programme, with disadvantaged pupils making two months more progress.

The other reports published are:

  • Challenge the Gap, a whole school improvement programme which supports schools to improve the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils through a professional development programme for staff run by schools that have successfully narrowed their gaps. The report from the independent evaluators at the University of Manchester, which looked at the 2012 version of the Challenge the Gap programme, suggests that it lacked consistent impacts on pupils eligible for free school meals
  • Achieve Together, a partnership between Teach First, Teaching Leaders and Future Leaders that tested a model of working together to recruit and develop high-potential teachers in schools with high numbers of disadvantaged pupils. Despite increased participation in all three programmes, the impact evaluation from the independent evaluators at the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that pupils in schools who took part made no more progress than a similar group of pupils at other schools. Some schools struggled to coordinate the different aspects of the programme and given the resource intensive nature of the programme were not fully able to engage with it. A pilot of an area-based approach to the programme in Bournemouth – evaluated by NatCen - found similar issues.

Research note: where next on school funding and the national funding formula? Perera and Sellen , 5th July: Education Policy Institute

  • The analysis finds that in order to address the inflation pressures faced by schools, the government would need to allocate an additional £1.3bn in the schools budget by 2021-22, over and above the £4bn commitment made in the Conservative manifesto.
  • Without this £1.3bn, there will be a real-terms per pupil reduction of 3 per cent by the end of the Parliament. This £1.3bn is on top of the Conservative manifesto commitment, which would have already required Chancellor Philip Hammond to find more for the schools budget. Since the government may no longer be able to rely upon redirecting savings from abolishing universal infant free school meals (UIFSM), the Chancellor already faces challenges to deliver the £4bn manifesto commitment. The Treasury may therefore need to find over £2bn of new money to deliver real terms protection.
  • The government has committed to introducing a new national funding formula with no losers in cash terms, at a potential cost of £350m per year. If the government does decide to put in the extra £1.3bn to protect real per pupil spending, then Justine Greening could use some of the extra money to help ensure that schools in lower funded areas see bigger budget rises. This might help persuade more of the government’s own MPs to support the new funding formula.
  • The government therefore needs to confirm whether it will maintain its commitment to implement the national funding formula in April 2018. Local authorities and schools need to know how much funding they are likely to have next year so that they can plan accordingly.

14–19 education and training in England: The concept of an extended upper secondary education phase revisited, Spours et al., 6th July: UCL, IoE

The report suggests extending the school age to 19 years, to ensure that young people have ore opportunity for work placements and opportunity to develop the skills they need.

Speaking of the report, one of the authors, Dr Rogers said:

“Putting the curriculum at the centre of 14-19 education whereby all students have access to theoretical and practical learning would enable all young people to progress to their full potential. This would require building on the strengths of successful institutions but expecting them to work in a collaborative manner with social partners in their localities to deliver a more comprehensive and cost-effective provision for all 14-19 year olds.”  

The researchers also explore reducing the emphasis on summative assessment at age 16+. They note that selection at 16 could have detrimental effects on post-16 participation and attainment because it forces young people to reach a certain level of attainment in general education at a single point, rather than when they are ready. 


NFER appointed to carry out new OECD International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study, 6th July

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has been appointed by the Department for Education to carry out a new OECD study to improve children’s early development in England.

NFER will carry out the International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study (IELS) in England looking to gather evidence on how to enrich a child’s first experiences of learning. Iram Siraj OBE, Professor of Early Childhood Education at UCL Institute of Education and Kathy Sylva OBE, Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford will be working with NFER on this project.

The study will take a holistic approach to exploring how to support a child’s cognitive, social and emotional wellbeing through a combination of interactive stories and games with children aged 5.

More information about the IELS pilot study is on the OECD website.

We launch Read Manchester Book bench trail, 5th July

The project in partnership with wild in Art, in 24 venues across Manchester, will have benches shaped like books and decorated by local schools. The venues will host their own literacy-themed events, including storytelling sessions and book swaps, throughout the summer. There will also be activities and resources at each location for families to complete.

Achievement for All: possible areas for considerations

Preventing and Tackling Bullying: Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies, 4th July Guidance (republished- last updated in Nov 2014 with cyberbullying details for schools and parents)

Achievement for All works successfully with schools to reduce bullying leading to better relationships across the school

School inspection update: academic year 2016 to 2017, 7th July

The update emphasizes the importance placed on curriculum in the inspection process, which will continue including with the introduction of the new common inspection framework in September 2019.