16th February 2018

Department for Education

Multiplication tables check trials to begin in schools, 14th February, News Story

A select number of schools across the country will start trialling the multiplication tables check from next month, the Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb has announced.

The multiplication tables check is designed to help ensure children in primary school know their times tables up to 12 off by heart. As well as being critical for everyday life, knowledge of multiplication tables helps children to solve problems quickly and flexibly, and allows them to tackle more complex mathematics later on in school.

The new on-screen check will last no longer than five minutes and is similar to the checks many schools use already. It will enable teachers to monitor a child’s progress in a consistent and reliable way but has been carefully designed to avoid causing additional stress for children and teachers.

It will be sat by 8 and 9 year olds in Year 4, after teachers and schools told the Government this was the best point for it to be introduced. Results from the check will not be published at school-level, and will not be used by Ofsted and others to force changes in schools.

Education Secretary tours the Midlands and North of England, 14th February, News Story

In his first visit to the regions, the Education Secretary visited a range of organisations from across the education system – from childcare through to primary school, further education and support for unemployed adults.

This was part of a three-day tour to see first-hand how high expectations and the right support can ensure all children and young people get the opportunities they deserve.

A list of the schools and organisations he visited can be found on the site for this article.

PE and sport premium: funding allocations for 2017 to 2018, 12th February

The revised publications have been added for PE and sport allocations. It is for : schools maintained by the local authority, academies and free schools and non-maintained special schools

How to use the PE and sport premium:

Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of PE and sport you offer.

This means that you should use the premium to:

  • Develop or add to the PE and sport activities that your school already offers

  • Build capacity and capability within the school to ensure that improvements made now will benefit pupils joining the school in future years

There are five key indicators that schools should expect to see improvement across:

  • The engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity - the Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend that all children and young people aged 5 to 18 engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, of which 30 minutes should be in school

  • The profile of PE and sport is raised across the school as a tool for whole-school improvement

  • Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport

  • Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils

  • Increased participation in competitive sport

Eligibility for free school meals and the early years pupil premium under Universal Credit, published 7th February and republished 13th February with update

Government response updated to correct 'List of organisations that responded to the consultations'.

Measures announced to ensure talented trainees get into teaching, 12th February, News story

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has announced that thousands of would-be teachers are now eligible for three attempts at the professional skills tests they must pass to begin Initial Teacher Training (ITT) before they incur any cost, rather than one.

On top of this change – worth up to £77 per candidate – the government has removed the lock-out period that previously prevented candidates from re-taking tests for two years if they had been unsuccessful in two re-sits.

The measures will be effective from 15 February, but are relevant to all applicants who applied on or after 24 October 2017 - with refunds offered automatically.

Department for Education- Further Education

Apprenticeship funding: how it works, 15th February 2018, republished since December 2017 with updates

Updated to include link to ESFA guidance on transferring apprenticeship service funds, and further clarification on state aid rules.

Department for Education- Early Years

Early education and childcare, republished to update legal requirements for free early education entitlement for two-year-olds under Universal Credit; see Part E: legal annex. The legislation comes into force on 1 April 2018.

This is statutory guidance for local authorities on the provision of early education and childcare.


Destinations of KS4 and KS5 pupils: 2016, 15th February 2018

Republished to make a correction to one key stage 5 revised institution level data table containing characteristics breakdowns.


School inspections and outcomes: management information, 13th February

This is published monthly and a one-off publication of inspections and outcomes from 2005 to 2015- as at 31st January 2018.

Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from December 2015, published 12th February

Management information documents added for period ending 31 January 2018 and from 1 September 2017 to 31 January 2018- showing in-year and most recent inspection outcomes.

Early years self- evaluation form, 13th February

The self-evaluation form will no longer be in use from 1 April 2018.The aim is to remove the burden on early years providers.

See also PACEY Removal of the Ofsted early years self-evaluation form (SEF)-they are asking you to vote if you want a self- reflection template

Parent View as at 1st January 2018

Parents were generally satisfied with their child’s schools and the way matters were dealt with. 92% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child was happy at school, with 93% holding the same view for the extent to which their child felt safe at school. However, at the other end of the scale, parents were less satisfied with the way bullying was dealt with; only 67% of parents felt that schools dealt with this effectively


Literacy and life expectancy, 15th February 2018, National Literacy Trust

This report explores existing research from a wide range of sources, including longitudinal data and analysis, academic journals, and domestic and international surveys, to establish the depth of the relationship between literacy and life expectancy.

Key findings show that children born into communities with the most serious literacy challenges have some of the lowest life expectancies in England:

  • A boy born in Stockton Town Centre (which has some of the most serious literacy challenges in the country) has a life expectancy 26.1 years shorter than a boy born in North Oxford (which has some of the fewest literacy challenges)

  • A girl born in Queensgate, Burnley (which has some of the most serious literacy challenges in the country), has a life expectancy 20.9 years shorter than a girl born in Mayfield, Wealdon (which has some of the fewest literacy challenges)

What’s more, these inequalities even exist within the same communities:

  • In Middlesbrough, a boy born in the ward of North Ormesby (which has some of the most serious literacy challenges in the country) has a life expectancy of 71.4 years, which is 11.6 years shorter than a boy born just 2 miles away in Marton East (which has some of the fewest literacy challenges in the country) who has a life expectancy of 83 years; the gap is 9.4 years for girls (76.5 years vs 85.9 years)

See also EEF response to the report, where there are details of a £10 million project they are funding with Northern Rock Foundation to improve primary school literacy in the North East.

Preventing Depression in Final Year Secondary Students: School-Based Randomized Controlled Trial, Helen Christensen, JMIR publications vol.19, no. 11, 2017

Objective: This trial investigated the effectiveness of SPARX-R, a gamified online cognitive behavior therapy intervention for the prevention of depression delivered to 540 final year secondary students in 10 government schools in Sydney; students had the intervention prior to facing a significant stressor—final secondary school exams.

Interventions were delivered weekly in 7 modules, each taking approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Results: Compared to controls, participants in the SPARX-R condition (n=242) showed significantly reduced depression symptoms relative to the control (n=298) at post-intervention (Cohen d=0.29) and 6 months post-baseline (d=0.21) but not at 18 months post-baseline (d=0.33).

Conclusions:  It demonstrates that an online intervention delivered in advance of a stressful experience can reduce the impact of such an event on the potential development or exacerbation of depression.

Your Attention Please: The Social and Economic Impact of ADHD, Simone Vibert, February : DEMOS

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by excessive activity, problems paying attention and problems controlling one’s behaviour. It is one of the most common disorders of childhood and adolescence: estimated prevalence among 5–15-year-olds in the UK is 3.62 per cent of boys and 0.85 per cent of girls. Although symptoms often improve, ADHD usually continues to affect people in adulthood.

This research involved a desk- based literature review and interviews with those who have ADHD. 

Key findings show that:

Despite the gaps in the evidence, it appears that undiagnosed and untreated ADHD imposes a significant socioeconomic burden. ADHD can have a far-reaching and pervasive effect across all areas of day to day life. The researcher found evidence of ADHD’s impact on daily routines, health and wellbeing, education, work, personal relationships, risk-taking and crime. The economic evidence taken together suggests that for a country of the UK’s size, the annual cost of ADHD could run into billions of pounds. Although most of the research focuses on the costs of diagnosed ADHD, it is likely that the costs of undiagnosed ADHD are higher.

Surprisingly, the evidence appears to suggest that most of the costs are associated with adults with the condition – not children.

Evidence suggests that adults with ADHD are less likely to be in full-time, paid work than those without the condition, and that their on-the-job productivity may also be reduced.

Awareness and understanding of the condition is poor, inhibiting early diagnosis and intervention. There is good reason to believe that early diagnosis and intervention could play an important role in helping people with ADHD to lead successful and fulfilling lives – but a good knowledge of ADHD is needed for this.

Awareness and understanding of ADHD is currently very poor, and not just among the general public – evidence has shown that parents, teachers and healthcare professionals also frequently fail to grasp the basic facts of the condition.

School Climate and Social and Emotional Learning: The Integration of Two Approaches, The Pennsylvania State University, January 2018

The authors present research from various journal articles, research briefs, policy guides and other sources, exploring how a positive school climate supports social and emotional learning. Key findings show supportive relationships, engagement, safety, cultural competence and responsiveness and academic challenge and high expectations create positive school climates that can help build social and emotional competence.

Cross Countries International comparisons of intergenerational trends, Rahman and Tomlinson, February 2018: Resolution Foundation

In this fifteenth report for the Intergenerational Commission – the authors explore the extent to which the UK’s generational living standards challenge is replicated in other high-income economies, focusing on trends in household income and experiences in the labour and housing markets.

Public concern about the living standards of young adults compared to those of their parents’ generation is evident across high-income countries, and their findings point to many areas in which the generational challenge appears shared. These range from ageing populations driving fiscal pressures; to a financial crisis affecting younger workers in particular; to housing cost pressures shifting increasingly towards households in working age.

However, the authors findings also mark the UK out in terms of the degree of reversal in young adults’ fortunes. With the partial exception of Spain, the UK is the only advanced economy in which large generation-on-generation progress on both household income and home ownership rates was a feature of the 20th century but has failed to materialise for younger generations so far in the 21st.

While young adults in other high-income countries face many challenges that are not seen in the UK, not least those in southern Europe where youth unemployment has rocketed, this generational boom and bust is arguably what has driven the recent salience of UK intergenerational debates.


Every 18 year-old should be offered £10,000 to spend on courses of their choice, paper says, 12 February 2018, UCL IoE

The idea is set out in a new paper published by the Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES), based at UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

Written by Tom Schuller, Alan Tuckett and Tom Wilson, it suggests university undergraduates could use the entitlement of up to £5,000 a year over two years to cut the cost of their tuition fees, while young adults who did not want to go to university would be able to cover the cost of courses in further education, apprenticeships or other accredited routes.  

Every young person in England should be offered state funding of £10,000 to spend on a university, college or training course of their choice after they turn 18, with adults who missed out on university in the past also eligible, an innovative paper launched tomorrow (13 February) will say.

Any adult without a degree would also be eligible, which would help to re-invigorate adult education and a culture of lifelong learning for all, the paper’s authors argue. They also believe it would be more equitable, and more cost-effective, than Labour’s proposal of scrapping university tuition fees, since those not going to university would also benefit.

Initial Teacher Education Resources, Communication Trust

The resources have been produced in partnership with the Institute of Education (IoE) at University College London, support Initial Teacher Education providers and trainee teachers to embed speech, language and communication into training; you can download them at this site.

Achievement for All: possible areas for considerations

School Climate and Social and Emotional Learning: The Integration of Two Approaches, The Pennsylvania State University, January 2018

Key findings show supportive relationships, engagement, safety, cultural competence and responsiveness and academic challenge and high expectations create positive school climates that can help build social and emotional competence; this approach is reflected in the Achievement for All framework as evidenced in our Social Impact Assessment report (PwC, 2016).