15th December 2017

Department for Education

Improving social mobility through education, 14th December :Policy Paper

The government's national plan to support children and young people to reach their full potential and local opportunity area plans.

Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education made clear that there is much more to be done to deliver equality of opportunity for every child, regardless of where they live.

The plan Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential will deliver targeted action where it is needed most, focusing £800 million of government investment on overcoming these challenges.

One overarching ambition will focus on places and communities across the country that feel they have been ‘left behind’, because they have not yet seen the improvement that other parts of the country have already benefited from. A further four ambitions will cover the key life stages of people’s education.

Ambition 1: Closing the word gap

Boosting access to high quality early language and literacy, both in the classroom and at home, ensuring more disadvantaged children leave school having mastered the basic of literacy that many take for granted.

Ambition 2: Closing the attainment gap

Raising standards for every pupil, supporting teachers early in their career as well as getting more great teachers in areas where there remain significant challenges.

Ambition 3: Real choice at post-16

Creating world-class technical education, backed by a half a billion pounds in investment, and increasing the options for all young people regardless of their background.

Ambition 4: Rewarding careers for all

Boosting skills and confidence to make the leap from education into work, raising their career aspirations. Building a new type of partnership with businesses to improve advice, information and experiences for young people.

See Justine Greening’s speech, 14th December- At Reform Social Mobility Conference - arranged by Reform, KPMG and the Joseph Rowntree. Her speech covered the following 3 areas:

  • Firstly, the problem: why Britain has never cracked social mobility;

  • Secondly, solutions: my ambitions for helping everyone to become the best version of themselves through their education; and

  • Thirdly, everyone’s problem needs everyone’s solution – if we’re going to achieve anything then social mobility, equality of opportunity needs to be a common ambition – with schools, colleges, universities, but also businesses, civil society, local communities all playing their part.

See Achievement for All response:

Achievement for All calls for systemic change that ensures that disadvantaged, underachieving and vulnerable children are no longer left behind, including:

  • Increased recognition of parents, carers and wider communities as crucial to the improvement of learning and attainment for children and young people

  • A curriculum that is relevant and engaging for all children and young people, and which involves them fully

  • Evolving the targets set for social mobility to ensure all routes to achievement and employment are valued – spurious targets set by decision makers (such as university entry) often concern only 50% of the population at best

  • Greater focus on the continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers and educational leaders based on the way disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils learn as well as those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

  • Increased cross-agency collaboration to reduce exclusions and minimise the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)

  • The gap for those who require SEND support to be narrowed with a focus on supporting middle attainers - too often a forgotten group. 

Economic value of GCSEs: region and disadvantage, 13th December

This analysis estimates the potential value to the economy if more disadvantaged children achieved at least 5 good GCSEs, including English and maths.

Overall findings show that:

In the academic year 2013/14, a greater percentage of pupils who were not disadvantaged achieved at least five GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths compared to those who were disadvantaged. This was consistent across all regions of England for both boys and girls and is referred to as the attainment gap.

The size of the attainment gap is smallest in London at 21 percentage points. In some regions, the attainment gap exceeds 30 percentage points.

If the attainment gap in all regions could be reduced to the same size as London, this would lead to an increase of around 125,000 disadvantaged pupils achieving the equivalent of five or more GCSES at A*-C including English and maths if effects were replicated for children currently of school age across England.

Across the country, if the attainment gap could be reduced to the same size as it is in London, some disadvantaged individuals would increase their lifetime productivity by the equivalent of approximately £110,000 in present value terms for 4 each pupil who improves their attainment. This would lead to an overall economic benefit of around £12 billion in present value terms over the lifetimes of the individuals analysed. 

Similarly, if disadvantaged pupils in all regions performed as well as disadvantaged pupils in London, this would lead to an overall economic benefit of around £20 billion in present value terms. 

Evaluation of the maths teacher exchange: China and England, 12th December 2017

The second and third interim reports have been added.

The Mathematics Teacher Exchange is a highly innovative programme that aims to foster a radical shift in primary mathematics teaching in England by learning from Shanghai mathematics education through a programme of teacher exchange. The evaluation of the Mathematics Teacher Exchange has two strands. Strand 1 evaluates changes in practice in schools involved (lead primary schools), and the influence on others they support in implementing teaching for mastery. Strand 2 evaluates impact on pupil outcomes in lead primary schools.

Since the initial exchange, partly in response to the reported potential of the exchange and of mastery to foster change in schools' practices, the Department for Education made a further investment in July 2016 of £41 million in supporting what is now referred to as 'teaching for mastery of mathematics'. In October 2017, the Department announced additional investment of £6 million to put Maths Hubs into areas where they will make the biggest difference. And in the 2017 Autumn Budget, the government announced a further £27 million to expand the Teaching for Mastery programme to reach 11,000 primary and secondary schools in total by 2023, including establishing a pre-mastery programme and accelerating rollout of the Mastery for Secondary programme.

Second interim

This report describes details of Strand 2 methodology and reports baseline data:

The main analysis for the impact evaluation will use Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 mathematics attainment data from academic years 2012/13 (two years before the exchange project began) through to 2016/17 (three years after the project began).

  • Multilevel analyses (pupils clustered within schools) will be employed in order to account for similarities in the ways that pupils experience mathematics education within any given school.

  • Each of the 47 lead primary schools participating in the exchange were matched with 20 contrast schools using propensity scores1. Any change in mathematics attainment in lead primary schools over the five year period covered by the analysis will be compared with change across the set of contrast schools.

  • Alongside the analysis of mathematics attainment data, there will also be an analysis of pupil attitudes.

The impact evaluation will only be a measure of the success of the exchange in raising mathematics attainment, and not a measure of the effectiveness of a particular approach to mathematics teaching. Contrast schools may well be engaging in different forms of teaching for mastery, and may have participated in various forms of related professional development, but did not take part in the 2014/15 exchange.

Third Interim

This third interim report presents findings from inductive and deductive analysis of follow-up interviews with 43 lead primary teachers from the original Cohort 1 schools, which were undertaken during the second year of implementation. The report addresses evaluation objectives related to implementation and fidelity, change in teaching methods and practices, perceptions of pupil outcomes, professional development outcomes, enablers and barriers to implementation, the relative success of different types of activities and, where applicable, work of lead primary schools with other schools and lessons learned.

In conclusion:

The Mathematics Teacher Exchange Cohort 1 schools have extended and deepened practices informed by the exchange and influenced by other mastery initiatives. In those schools where such practices are now embedded, pedagogy is markedly different from practices that have been the norm in English primary mathematics classrooms.

English primary schools with a range of characteristics have successfully applied lessons from the Shanghai exchange. Schools have learnt lessons from the exchange and drawn on other support to change practice. Practices implemented, or similar, have, individually, good evidence from previous research including meta-analysis of quasi-experimental trials, that they can potentially improve mathematical attainment.

In the final year of the evaluation the extent to which changes are more fully embedded will be established, and this will inform analysis of whether the potential for impact on pupil outcomes is realised. In addition, the third year interviews will offer the possibility to ask interviewees to consider the value of the policy innovation as a whole and of the exchange in particular

Recruiting a headteacher, 14th December: Guidance

This guide, written in partnership with the National Governance Association, highlights the importance of professional recruitment practice in recruiting and selecting headteachers. It:

  • Identifies good practice

  • Emphasises the need for fairness and transparency

  • Signposts to all related guidance

It should be read alongside the recruitment toolkit, also available at this site. This guide replaces `A guide to recruiting and selecting a new headteacher’ published in 2012.

Increasing flexible working in schools- republished with details of pledges from the Flexible Working Summit, 11th December.

This explains how the government is working with the education sector to help schools adopt flexible working arrangements that benefit teachers and children alike.

See also News Story: Leading organisations pledge to boost flexible working in schools

Department for Education- FE

FE data library: apprenticeships, 12th December

Apprenticeships participation by region and sector table and workplaces of apprentices by region table updated to include final 2016 to 2017 data.

FE data library: education and training, 12th December

New or updated offender learning tables for final 2016 to 2017 data has been added.

FE data library: further education and skills, 12th December

New FE and skills participation demographic tool and update for the national aims report for 2016 to 2017 data.

FE Trends, 12th December

FE trends provides an overview of adult (19+) government-funded further education and all age apprenticeships in England. It looks to provide trends between 2008/09 and 2013/14 and to give an overview of FE provision, characteristics of learners and outcomes over time

Overall findings show that:

Adult (19+) apprenticeship participation has more than doubled since 2008/09 to 666,000 apprenticeships in 2013/14.This increase was predominantly a result of increased government investment and recruitment in 2010/11 and 2011/12. There was a 3 per cent decrease between 2012/13 and 2013/14. The Governments continuing focus on quality, insisting that all apprenticeships are jobs and have a minimum duration of a year are factors that may have affected starts, together with the introduction of 24+ Advanced Learning Loans in August 2013. 24+ loans were withdrawn for apprenticeships in March 2014.

  • There was a significant decline in Workplace Learning outside of apprenticeships and the Employer Ownership Programme (EOP), from just over a million in 2008/09 to under 137,000 in 2013/14. This planned reduction was a result of the abolition of the Train to Gain programme in 2011/12 and prioritising workplace funding through apprenticeships.

Supporting the Justice System

The number of learners engaged in education and training whilst in custody increased by 6 per cent from 89,000 in 2012/13 to 95,000 in 2013/14 after a broadly flat level of participation over the preceding three years. Of these 38,000 participated in English and maths, an increase of 9 per cent compared to 2012/13 (34,000). These offenders were funded via the Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) budget.

16 to 18 accountability headline measures, 14th December 2017

Updated 16 to 18 accountability measures technical guide, setting out changes to the methodology of the tech level minimum standards measure. The guide also incorporates further clarification of existing accountability measures.

Apprenticeship funding: how it works, 14th December 2017

Details of how government funds apprenticeship training in England from May 2017, and what these changes will mean for employers.


Strengthening qualified teacher status and career progression

Closes: 9th March 2018- 11.45am

The government is seeking views on proposed changes to qualified teacher status (QTS), and on proposals for how to improve career progression for teachers. The government would like to hear your views on:

  • How to support teachers at the beginning of their career

  • How newly qualified teachers (NQTs) embed the skills and knowledge from their initial teacher training (ITT)

  • How to improve career progression for teachers, focusing on improving progression opportunities for all teachers throughout their careers


Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2017- republished with pupil characteristics, 14th December 2017

Findings show that at KS1 pupils on FSM still lag behind heir peers. There is a 17 percentage point gap between pupil performance in reading, writing and maths between FSM pupils and their more advantaged peers.

National curriculum assessments: key stage 2, 2017 (revised), 14th December 2017- pupil characteristics added

15% of pupils at the end of KS2 are known to be eligible for free school meals in 2017.

Findings show that attainment has increased for both FSM and all other pupils in 2017 compared to 2016. As in previous years, FSM pupils have lower attainment in 2017 compared to all other pupils nationally: 43% of FSM pupils achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics, compared to 64% of all other pupils, a difference of 22 percentage points14 . The attainment gap between FSM and all other pupils has increased slightly by one percentage point compared to 2016.

See also: Primary school performance tables: 2017, 14th December 2017

And Ready reckoners for key stage 2: 2017, 14th December : Guidance

Primary school accountability, 14th December 2017


Updated with Published details of similar schools technical guidance for 2017 and removed documents relevant only to 2016. 


Ofsted Annual Report 2016/17: education, children’s services and skills, 13th December 2017

Early Years

Early years as a whole has improved over time. In August 2012, 74% of providers were judged good or outstanding. By August 2017, 94% of providers were judged to be good or outstanding. The increase is largely in the proportion of providers judged good. The increase in the proportion of providers judged outstanding has been small.


In the 2016 to 2017 academic year, Ofsted carried out over 5,400 full or short inspections of state-funded schools. At the end of August 2017, 89% of schools were judged to be good or outstanding at their most recent inspection: the same proportion as at the end of the previous year. Grades remain higher for primary schools (90% good or outstanding) than for secondary schools (79% good or outstanding).

Underperforming schools

At the end of August 2017, 9% of schools were judged to require improvement at their most recent inspection. This is a marked improvement from August 2012, when 28% of schools were judged ‘satisfactory’.

There are now around 1,900 schools that were judged to require improvement at their most recent inspection. Over 700 (38%) of these schools were also judged to require improvement or to be satisfactory at their previous inspection.

A lower proportion of schools previously judged to require improvement improved at their inspection this year than in any other year. This trend is seen for both primary schools (33% did not improve this year) and secondary schools (58% did not improve). A higher proportion of schools also declined to inadequate this year.


A common factor in the schools that do not improve to good or outstanding is that they have a higher proportion of deprived pupils. Fifty-five per cent of the schools that currently require improvement have high proportions of pupils from deprived areas.

Although these schools can face major challenges, great improvements can be, and are, made. Last year, 6 schools that had previously required improvement were judged to be outstanding at their latest inspection. Four of these were in the most deprived quintile of schools.

You can find out more about how these schools have improved on page 31 of the Annual Report.

Outstanding providers, 13th December 2017

Every year, Ofsted publishes a list of outstanding providers alongside the Annual Report. This list covers the previous academic year (September to August).

Ofsted sends each of the outstanding providers a certificate and a letter from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills. The provider can use Ofsted’s Outstanding Provider logo on stationery and signage.

See also Amanda Spielman’ s speech on the launch of Ofsted's Annual Report 2016/17

Ofsted's Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman discusses the quality of education and care in England today at the launch of Ofsted's Annual Report.

She started by saying: ‘The quality of education and care in England today is good and it is continually improving. The life chances of the vast majority of young people in 2017 are the best they ever have been…’

School inspections and outcomes: management information, 12th December

Published data as at 30th November 2017

Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from December 2015, 11th Dec.

Published data at 30th November 2017

Further education and skills inspection handbook, 15th December 2017

Minor additions to take into account section 41 of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 which comes into effect from 2 January 2018. This requires Ofsted to comment on careers guidance in inspection reports of colleges.

Local area SEND inspection outcome letters - Added letter for Kingston upon Hull on the reports website, 14th December 2017.

Amongst relevant findings- there is a lack of specialist knowledge and understanding of children and young people’s needs in some schools and settings. In primary schools, for example, children’s social, emotional and mental health needs are not identified quickly enough and many parents told inspectors that their children’s needs are simply not understood. Some parents said that they sometimes feel ‘blamed and un-supported’ by professionals.


Read On. Get On. coalition launches robust measure of children’s reading at age 11, 15th December 2017

The Read On. Get On. (ROGO) coalition, for which National Literacy Trust holds the secretariat, has launched a new robust measure of children’s reading at age 11 in England, called the ROGO Index. Achievement for All, a founding member of ROGO, contributed theirs views to the new Index.

For the first time, the ROGO Index brings together government, commercial and third sector data to measure children’s:

  • Cognitive reading skills (including comprehension, phonics and decoding)

  • Affective processes (including reading enjoyment, motivation and attitudes)

  • Reading behaviours (including daily reading outside school and reading a wide range of texts)

These are the three elements that make an 11-year-old a good reader, according to a new tripartite model developed by the coalition in consultation with education experts, academics and teachers.

The ROGO Index uses data from the Department for Education, GL Assessment and Renaissance Learning to measure children’s cognitive reading skills, as well as data from their own annual survey to measure children’s levels of reading enjoyment and reading frequency.

The ROGO Index shows that:

  • Children’s cognitive reading skills have remained consistent over the past three years, despite changes in Key Stage 2 national curriculum assessments suggesting fluctuations in attainment

  • Children’s levels of reading enjoyment (75%) and daily reading frequency (50%) are both lower than their levels of cognitive reading skills (85%)

  • Girls outperform boys in all areas of reading

See Achievement for All Blog Closing the gap in reading is everyone’s business, Catherine Knowles, Achievement for All

In this blog we suggest that a focus by schools, families and the wider community, on the three dimensions of the new Index could be the answer to closing the persistent literacy gap between the lowest and highest performing children across the country. Data analysed by the ROGO team shows little change in reading skills over the last three years however the recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) across 50 countries showed some improvement in the reading scores of the lowest performing nine year olds in England. This is progress; since PIRLS began in 2001, England has always had one of the largest gaps between the highest and lowest performing children across participating countries.

English education: world class in primary?, Natalie Perera and Peter Sellen, 13th Dec 2017: Education Policy Institute

The report converts countries’ results from the international Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) into equivalent English Key Stage 2 (KS2) assessment results, producing an estimate of where England stands in the world in primary education.

Key findings show that in:

England’s maths gap: There is a significant underperformance by low attaining pupils:

  • The analysis shows thatEngland has one of the largest gaps between its high and low performers out of all developed nationsEngland’s top performing maths pupils achieve a very high standard but the bottom performers lag far behind.

  • The tail of low performing pupils supports the case for targeted support for vulnerable pupils throughout the course of primary school and early years education. If England is to be considered world class at primary in maths, the performance of pupils at the bottom must be improved.

Overall performance

England compares well with other developed nations at primary level maths – but trails behind the top performing nations:

  • To match the performance of the top-performing nations, the researchers estimate 90 per cent of pupils would need to meet the government’s expected standardin Key Stage 2 maths by the end of primary school. In 2016, only 75 per cent of pupils met this standard.

  • This means that, in order to reach this world-class benchmark of 90 per cent, an additional 90,000 pupils would need to achieve the expected standard in England.

  • Northern Irelandperforms better in maths than Englandwith around 80 per cent of pupils in Northern Ireland reaching a world-class standard.

Achievement for All has responded to this report through the Fair Education Alliance. You can access it here Closing the gap in primary maths.

Teenage girls set their sights on lower paying jobs than boys, new research finds, 13th December 2017: IoE, UCL

Research, just published shows that, while teenage girls are more likely than teenage boys to have high hopes of going to university and having a professional or managerial occupation, when it comes to salaries it’s the boys who are aiming highest. 

The research team at the IOE’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), analysed data collected from over 7,700 teenagers in the UK who are all part of the Millennium Cohort Study, a study which has followed their lives since they were born at the turn of the century. When they were 14, the teenagers were asked a series of questions to find out their future aspirations. 

Overall, the teenage girls set their sights higher than the boys when thinking about their education prospects. On average, girls thought they had a 71 per cent chance of going to university, and 14 per cent of girls were 100 per cent certain they would go. Boys were less sure; their average expectation was 63 per cent, and just under 10 per cent were absolutely convinced they would get to university. 

For girls, the most popular jobs they aspired to were: the medical profession (8%), a secondary school teacher (8%), a singer (6%), working in the legal profession (5%), a vet (5%), a nurse (4%) and a midwife (4%). 

The most popular for boys were: a professional sportsman (12%), a software developer (6%), an engineer (6%), being in the Armed Forces (4%), an architect (4%) and a secondary school teacher (4%). 

School segregation across the world: has any progress been made in reducing the separation of the rich from the poor? Gutierrez et al., 14th December: IoE, UCL

The research was based on data from the last 15 years from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) studies, which compare school performance worldwide and also look at children’s economic background.

The researchers found that the level of segregation between schools has remained stable in OECD countries over the past 15 years. The Nordic countries have among the most socially integrated schools whereas Chile, Mexico and Hungary have particularly segregated schools. The report suggests the UK lags behind in terms of socially integrated schools.

McCrone, T., Martin, K., Sims, D. and Rush, C. (2017). Evaluation of University Technical Colleges (UTCs). Slough: NFER, 12th December 2017

Understanding the way in which project-based learning and employer engagement is used in the development and delivery of the curriculum within University Technical Colleges (UTCs) is a key focus of this interim report. The overall aim of this two-year study is to understand and share promising practice. 

Key findings included:

  • There are a range of approaches currently used to engage and liaise with employers and to utilise their input into the design and delivery of the curriculum. At its most profound level, some UTCs have relationships with employers where they are co-developing and delivering projects, with employers taking ownership of curriculum units.

  • Most young people enrolled due to an interest in the specialism or to learn about the world of work.

  • Main challenges faced were ensuring that UTCs secured and managed a suitable range of employers providing high-quality input into the curriculum; recruiting and retaining appropriate students with an interest in the specialism and motivated to engage and succeed and high-calibre staff with appropriate knowledge and skills.

Advice for new UTCs included:

  • develop a clear vision and mission; raise the UTC’s profile and reputation

  • ensure pupils develop meaningful, relevant and appropriate skills

  • invest in building and maintaining quality relationships with employers

  • provide regular and sustained exposure to a range of industry partners.

International- Wales

Wales passes Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill, 13th December

Wales passes Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill

The Welsh Government aims to transform the additional learning needs system so it provides better support to those children and young people who need it most. The National Assembly for Wales passed the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill.

The new Bill, which affects nearly every education setting in Wales and focusses on the needs of children and young people aged 0 to 25, means:

  • The replacement of the terms 'special educational needs' and 'learning difficulties / disabilities' with the new term, 'additional learning needs';

  • The creation of a single statutory plan, the  Individual Development Plan (IDP) for learners;

  • Increased participation of children and young people, ensuring they are at the centre of the planning and decision making process;

  • Prioritising high aspirations and improving outcomes, focusing on the child or young person’s achievement of their full potential;

  • Providing  a simpler and less adversarial process, ensuring learners’ needs are at the centre and are continually met;

  • Creating new statutory roles within health and education to ensure collaboration and integration so that learners’ needs are met;

  • Focussing on earlier disagreement resolution, with disagreements resolved at the most local level possible;

  • The introduction of clear and consistent rights of appeal where disagreements can not be resolved at a local level;

  • The introduction of a strengthened Code, which will sit alongside the Bill, with mandatory requirements and statutory guidance to support the primary legislation.

  • The Bill also supports the Welsh Government’s wider vision of achieving one million Welsh speakers by 2050 by including a series of strategic duties aimed at driving progress towards a truly bilingual additional learning needs system.

Education Secretary outlines proposed implementation plan for new additional learning needs system in Wales, 11th December

The responses from both the consultation and engagement events have been used to inform the development of the proposed approach to implement the new system.

The key elements of the approach the government will take include:

  • A mandatory phased approach to the introduction of Individual Development Plans (IDPs), which will provide tailored support to the learning needs of each individual and replace current statutory and non-statutory plans including the statement of Special Educational Needs; with those with the most severe learning needs prioritised.

  • The new system should commence in September 2020. This will allow sufficient time for the range of supporting measures, subordinate legislation and the Additional Learning Needs Code (which will sit alongside the Bill), to be developed and put into place, and a comprehensive programme of multi-agency training and development, to aid a smooth transition to the new system.

  • The implementation of the new system should last three years, with completion expected by the end of 2023.

Pupil Development Grant considered "invaluable" by schools, says new report, 13th December

Pupil Development Grant considered "invaluable" by schools, says new report, 13th December 2017.

An independent evaluation of the Welsh Government’s Pupil Development Grant (PDG) has found that many schools consider the funding to be ‘invaluable’, with good progress being made on identifying and addressing the needs of disadvantaged learners.

The report by Ipsos Mori and the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) focuses on how schools are spending the PDG and teachers’ perceptions of the impact of the grant.

Many of the schools interviewed for the report acknowledged that the PDG has helped them to focus and raise the profile of tackling disadvantage across the school.

Schools said this had led to an increased focus on whole-school strategies to improve areas such as behaviour, attendance, family engagement and restorative approaches.

Fall in absenteeism from primary schools over the last decade, 14th December 2017

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has welcomed the latest figures showing absenteeism from primary schools in Wales has fallen over the last decade.

Findings showed that: in 2016/17 overall absence remained at 5.1% and has been falling since 2006/07.

Coleg Cymraeg Cendedlaethol’s role to be expanded – Kirsty Williams, 12th Dec

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s role will be expanded to include further education colleges and the work base learning sectors Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has announced.



Leader of support school

The ERW Leadership Menu of Support has evolved this year in line with the principles of the self-improving school system.

The menu drives and supports collaboration and partnership between schools across the region in order to respond to local needs and variations. The strategy is a flexible and responsive approach to support school development following Core Support Visit 1 where required.

As a region, ERW already have 27 ‘Lead Support Schools’ who are available to collaborate on the ‘Menu of Support’. It needs to further build this capacity and it is inviting more schools to put themselves forward and apply to be an ERW Lead Support School.

Professional learning pathway for teaching assistants

Training Opportunities

New programmes will be delivered across Wales for Teaching Assistants and will provide invaluable opportunities to network and collaborate with professionals from across the region.

More details from this link. 


Exciting new ‘Academy Associate’ Roles with the National Academy for Educational Leadership Announced

The National Academy for Education Leadership (NAEL) is offering a small number of ‘Academy Associate’ roles to serving head teachers. Associates will work one day a week on supporting the development of the new Academy, including design of its first high level leadership programme and scrutiny of programmes put forward for endorsement. More details at this link.


Youth Homelessness and Belonging: Achievement for All guest blog by Sonia Blandford and Anne Cameron - a response to the recent Youth Homelessness report by LKMco, 12th December 2017

Social and emotional learning: supporting children and young people’s mental health, 14th December 2017, Policy Briefing: Early Intervention Foundation

This EIF policy briefing sets out the case for an increased emphasis on social and emotional learning in schools. The following provides a summary of the briefing:

What is the problem?

  • There is a widely held view that more and more children are experiencing mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and conduct disorders. Poor mental health in childhood is associated with a number of negative outcomes in later life, including poorer educational attainment and employment prospects.

  • Also, children from deprived backgrounds are significantly more likely to experience mental health difficulties than those from more affluent backgrounds. Recent research shows that this inequality gap is widening.

Social and emotional learning: a critical part of the solution

  • Social and emotional skills, including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making, are fundamental to children’s health, wellbeing and future success, including their educational attainment.

  • Emotional wellbeing and self-esteem in childhood are strongly associated with good mental health in adulthood. Children’s social skills, self-control, self-regulation and self-efficacy also appear to be important to adult mental health and wellbeing.

  • Schools play a central role in children and young people’s social, emotional and academic development. Engaging in effective social and emotional programmes is associated with significant short- and long-term improvements for children and young people.

What needs to change?

  • Social and emotional learning should be given greater prominence within schools, given its links to mental health as well as attainment, employment prospects and other outcomes for children.

  • There is a need to implement high-quality social and emotional skills-based interventionswithin the context of a whole-school approach. Comprehensive implementation tools and guidelines are required to support schools in adopting a whole-school approach to social and emotional learning.

  • Teachers and administrators need good-quality training in effective teaching practicesto support social and emotional learning, to enable this to become a part of everyday classroom activity.

  • Teachers or school support staff should also be trained by specialists to deliver more targeted, evidence-based supportfor children with emerging mental health needs.

Also read the blog by Stephanie Waddell who makes the case for social and emotional learning as a key part of any approach to preventing mental health problems among children and young people

Achievement for All: possible areas for considerations

Improving social mobility through education, 14th December :Policy Paper

The government's national plan to support children and young people to reach their full potential and local opportunity area plans. See the Achievement for All response:

Read On. Get On. coalition launches robust measure of children’s reading at age 11, 15th December 2017

The Read On. Get On. (ROGO) coalition, for which National Literacy Trust holds the secretariat, has launched a new robust measure of children’s reading at age 11 in England, called the ROGO Index. Achievement for All, a founding member of ROGO, contributed theirs views to the new Index.

See Achievement for All Blog Closing the gap in reading is everyone’s business, Catherine Knowles, Achievement for All

English education: world class in primary?, Natalie Perera and Peter Sellen, 13th Dec 2017: Education Policy Institute

The report converts countries’ results from the international Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) into equivalent English Key Stage 2 (KS2) assessment results, producing an estimate of where England stands in the world in primary education.

See Achievement for All response to this report through the Fair Education Alliance. You can access it here Closing the gap in primary maths.

See Youth Homelessness and Belonging: Achievement for All guest blog by Sonia Blandford and Anne Cameron - a response to the recent Youth Homelessness report by LKMco, 12th December 2017.