15th September 2017

Department for Education

Justine Greening statement on national funding formula, 14th September 2017

In her address to parliament, Education Secretary, Justine Greening outlined what it means in real terms:

‘Building on our consultation proposals, as I set out in the House prior to summer recess, I am:

  • Increasing the basic amount of funding that every pupil will attract.

  • We recognise the challenges of the very lowest funded schools so will introduce a minimum per pupil funding level. Under the national funding formula, in 2019-20 all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil. Today I can announce that all primary schools will attract at least £3,500 per pupil through the formula in 2019-20. And the formula will provide these levels of funding quickly: secondary schools will attract at least £4,600, and primary schools £3,300 in 2018-19; and then the full amounts the following year.

  • I will also provide a cash increase in respect of every school. Final decisions on local distribution will be taken by local authorities, but under the national funding formula every school will attract at least 0.5% more per pupil in 2018-19, and 1% more in 2019-20, compared to its baseline.

……Our consultation confirmed the importance of funding for additional needs – deprivation and low prior attainment. …..As I said in July, we will protect the funding the formula will direct towards additional needs at the level proposed in our consultation, and I can therefore confirm today the total spending on additional needs will be £5.9 billion.

But, as we proposed in December, we will distribute that funding more fairly, in line with the best available evidence. We will use a broad measure of deprivation to include all of those who are likely to need extra help. And we will increase the proportion of additional needs spending allocated on the basis of low prior attainment, to give additional support to those who may not be economically deprived but who still need help to catch up. I can also confirm today that, as we proposed in December, the national funding formula will allocate a lump sum of £110,000 for every school.

For the smallest, most remote schools, we will distribute a further £26 million in dedicated sparsity funding. Only 47% of eligible schools received sparsity funding in 2017-18 because some local authorities chose not to use this factor. Our national funding formula will recognise all eligible schools.

And, our formula will rightly result in a significant boost directed towards the schools that are currently least well-funded directly. Secondary schools that would have been the lowest funded under our December proposals will now gain on average 4.7%. Rural schools will gain on average 3.9%, with those schools in the most remote locations gaining 5.0%. Those schools with high numbers of pupils starting with low attainment will gain on average 3.8%.

As I set out in my statement in July, to provide stability for schools through the transition to the national funding formula, each local authority will continue to set a local formula which will determine individual schools’ budgets in their areas, in 2018-19 and 2019-20, in consultation with local schools.

…..And thanks to the additional £1.3 billion investment that I announced in July, I can increase funding for high needs so that I will also be able to raise the funding floor to provide a minimum increase of 0.5% per head in 2018-19 and 1% per head in 2019-20 for every local authority. Underfunded local authorities will receive up to 3% per head gains a year for the next two years to help them catch up.

That is a more generous protection than we proposed in December, to help every local authority maintain and improve the support it offers to some of our most vulnerable children. It means that local authorities will see a 4.6% increase on average in their high needs budgets.

The additional £1.3 billion we are investing in schools and high needs means that all local authorities will receive an increase in 2018-19, over the amount they plan to spend in 2017-18. Local authorities will take the final decisions on distributing funding to schools within local areas, but the formula will provide for all schools to see an increase in funding compared to their baseline’.

See Also: Fairer funding system to end 'postcode lottery' for schools, 14th September 2017: Announcement

In summary: the NFF will provide funding gains for schools across England, allocating:

  • an increase in the basic amount allocated for every pupil;

  • a minimum per pupil funding level for both secondaries and primaries to target the lowest funded schools;

  • a minimum cash increase for every school of one per cent per pupil by 2019-20, with the most underfunded schools seeing rises of three per cent per pupil in 2018-19 and 2019-20

  • a £110,000 lump sum for every school to help with fixed costs, and an additional £26million to rural and isolated schools to help them manage their unique challenges

See also: National funding formula tables for schools and high needs, 14th September 2017, Guidance

Tables showing provisional allocations for the schools, high needs and central school services blocks.

See also: National funding formula for schools and high needs, 14th September 2017

New national funding formulae for schools, high needs and the central school services block which will be introduced from April 2018.

Analysis and response to the school’s national funding formula: stage 2, 14th September 2017

High needs national funding formula: stage 2, 14th September 2017

Analysis of and response to the high needs national funding formula. 

Helping children learn through a proportionate primary assessment system, 14th September 2017

The government confirmed that it will:

  • Introduce a new teacher-mediated assessment in the reception year from 2020 to provide a baseline measure to better track pupils’ progress during primary school. The check, which will be developed in conjunction with the teaching profession, will ensure schools are given credit for all the work they do throughout a child’s time at primary school;

  • Improve the early years foundation stage profile – a check on a child’s school readiness at the end of their early years education. This includes reviewing supporting guidance, to reduce burdens for teachers;

  • Make key stage 1 tests and assessments non-statutory from 2023 and remove the requirement for schools to submit teacher assessment data to the government for reading and maths at the end of key stage 2, as these subjects are already assessed through statutory tests, from 2018-19;

  • Introduce a multiplication tables check to aid children’s fluency in mathematics from 2019-20;

  • Improve teacher assessment of English writing by giving teachers greater scope to use their professional judgement when assessing pupils at the end of key stages 1 and 2 from the current academic year (2017-18).

Primary assessment public consultations: government response, 14th September 2017

The government also set out how it will better support children who are not yet working at the standard of the national curriculum tests. In her written statement to parliament, Justine Greening, as well as outlining the above referred to the need to improve the statutory assessment of pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests by extending the interim pre-key stage standards to cover all pupils engaged in subject specific learning, and by piloting the Rochford Review’s recommended approach to assessing pupils who are not yet engaged in subject specific learning.

See also Primary pupil assessment: Rochford Review impact assessment, 14th September 2017

Analysis of how changes to assessing pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests will affect specific protected groups.

New training opportunities for thousands of teachers, 14th September 2017

Six leading organisations, including the Teacher Development Trust, Teach First and the Institute of Physics, will share a fund worth almost £17million as part of the government’s drive to support and spread great teaching.

The successful organisations – the first to benefit from the new £75million Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund - aim to increase existing teachers’ skills, confidence and knowledge in a range of areas including leadership and phonics and early reading.

There will also be a focus on sharing best practice in the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths and the creation of five professional development excellence hubs across the country.

These hubs, due to be set up in Blackpool, Birmingham, Northumberland, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and West Sussex, will support individual schools in developing and retaining the high-quality staff they need. There will be a focus on Opportunity Areas.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

‘We want to ensure every young person can reach their potential, regardless of their background or where they are growing up, and great teachers are at the heart of this.

This new fund proves our commitment to creating a culture of high-quality ongoing professional development throughout a teacher’s career……’

Nick Gibb: The importance of vibrant and open debate in education, speech delivered 9th September ResearchED 2017 National Conference.

In his speech, Nick Gibb, Schools Minister, spoke of the importance of teachers challenging current practices and considering how they could be different/ better to get better outcomes for children and young people. He proposed research. Speaking at the ResearchED conference- an organisation set up in 2013 and led by Tom Bennett to bridge the gap between research and practice in education-researchers, teachers, and policy makers come together to share and discuss information.

Nick Gibb said:

‘ResearchED is now established around the world – with teachers in 3 continents coming together to share and debate the research that has inspired their teaching. It is a forum that allows teachers to debate what the evidence says about best practice in schools’.

He highlighted the innovative work, particularly in some Free Schools, to encourage other teachers to make empirical research part of their work. He said:

‘Through innovation and a desire to challenge and create new solutions, teacher-led organisations are changing the education landscape. Evidence and empiricism now trumps dogma and received wisdom. And teachers, academics and – most of all – pupils stand to gain’.

Partnership is key to creating more good school places, 13th September 2017: News Story

The Secretary of State for Education spoke at the Celebrating Partnerships event hosted by the Independent Schools Council (13 September), encouraging partnership working between the state and private education sectors. Existing partnerships between the independent and state school sectors were addressed.

The Department for Education is working in collaboration with the Independent Schools Council to support more joint working between the independent and state school sectors. Support will include drawing on the experience and the expertise of independent schools in leadership, teacher training, curriculum support, school improvement and sponsorship, or setting up a free school.

Independent Schools Council (ISC) chairman, Barnaby Lenon, officially launched the organisation’s Celebrating Partnerships booklet, an annual report of cross-sector partnership work between independent and state schools.

Speaking at the event, National Schools Commissioner Sir David Carter spoke about the Department for Education’s newly formed System Partnership Unit that is working to support the independent schools sector to broker partnerships and relationships with the state sector. The department also launched a leaflet to offer further guidance in setting up or expanding existing partnerships.

Teachers analysis compendium 2, 13th September 2017

This provides an analysis of variation in teacher supply and the factors that are used to explain this. The document aims to generate new insights and is intended to be an accessible resource to stimulate debate, improve the public understanding of related data, and generate ideas for further research.

The reasons teachers leave the profession change throughout a teacher’s career. However, in 2003 Smithers and Robinson found that workload and accountability pressure, wanting a change or a challenge, the school situation (including pupil behaviour and school leadership) and salary considerations were the most prominent factors in leaving. Across studies, teachers in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia report broadly similar factors for deciding to leave the profession.

Reading children's services: report to the Secretary of State, 12th September 2017

An independent report by Nick Whitfield, the Children’s Services Commissioner, which recommends that services are removed from the council’s control and an alternative delivery model is established.

This follows a report by Ofsted that judged the overall effectiveness of those services to be inadequate. DfE issued a revised statutory direction to Reading in September 2017.

Kirklees children's services: report to the Secretary of State, 14th September 2017

This report sets out the findings of the Commissioner’s 3-month review and makes recommendations for the improvement of Kirklees’ children’s social care services. The report follows an Ofsted report published in November 2016 which judged the overall effectiveness of Kirklees’ children’s social care services as inadequate.

Improvement notices and directions

Direction issued to Tower Hamlets council (children’s social care services), 12th September

Direction issued to Barnet council (children’s social care services), 12th September

Bromley children's services: report to the Secretary of State, 12th September

The reports follow an Ofsted report published in June 2016, which judged the overall effectiveness of Bromley’s children’s social care services as inadequate.

The commissioner’s 6-month progress review recommends that the council should be allowed to retain control of the delivery of its children’s social care services.

Department for Education- Further Education

Further education colleges: financial intervention and exceptional support (republished with updates), 11th September 2017 

This guidance has been republished to change of policy owners to DfE and updating of the information about area reviews.


Experimental apprenticeships data visualisations, 14th September 2017

The DfE are developing data visualisation applications to offer users a more visual, interactive presentation. This provides an interactive map -giving summaries of apprenticeships starts based on published apprenticeships data.

FE data library: education and training, 14th September 2017

This has been updated with the following information: education and training participation and achievement data broken down into a number of reports including sector subject areas, participation by gender, age, ethnicity, disability participation. It also includes data on offender learning.

Participation in offender learning English and maths education assessments by ethnicity and learning difficulty and/or disability (2015/16) – learner volumes


Maths and English functional skills: revised subject content, 12th September 2017

Closes 7th November 2017 (5pm)

The Government is reforming functional skills qualifications to improve their relevance and content, and to build their recognition and credibility in the labour market. The reformed subject content consultation document asks questions on the proposed content for all five qualification levels in mathematics and English.

In parallel with this consultation Ofqual, the examinations regulator, is consulting on the revised regulatory requirements for the reformed Functional Skills. View and respond to this separate consultation on Ofqual’s website


A Place to call home: understanding youth homelessness, Iesha Small, Ellie Mulcahy, Kate Bowen Viner and Loic Menzies, 14th September 2017: Sage Foundation/ LKMCo

The research was undertaken in partnership with the Sage Foundation, and argues that ending youth homelessness and ensuring that young people have the support they need is not only possible, but it is also our duty as a humane and modern society. It is a mission everyone has a role to play in, including businesses, government, schools, and youth services.

The report considers 4 key questions:

  1. What does youth homelessness look like in the UK?

  2. Why do young people become homeless?

  3. What role does education play in youth homelessness?

  4. What can we do?

Findings showed that no one single factor caused homelessness, but 3 key themes kept emerging: 

  1. Parents no longer being willing or able to accommodate young people: Relationship breakdown is often the trigger for young people becoming homeless, but this does not happen without warning signs. A rapid and skilled response to these challenges could help reduce the risk that events culminate in homelessness.

  2. Poverty: Poverty frequently leads to untenably overcrowded or unsuitable housing and this contributes to family breakdown. Changes to the welfare system and rising rents have therefore profoundly exacerbated youth homelessness and this poses serious questions for how our society ensures young people grow up in the right conditions for them to flourish. Meanwhile, the wider economic context and the shortcomings of social policy can result in a lack of support services and high youth unemployment rates. This increases the likelihood that young people will become homeless.

  3. Leaving care: Young people in care - whether they are fostered or in homes, are some of the most vulnerable young people in our society. Yet despite their care being entrusted to the state, many are left vulnerable by a lack of transitional arrangements and options for moving on, coupled with a lack of support and insufficient skills for independent living. As a result, the system is letting these young people down and failing to ensure they have a fair chance of success.

Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance, Huebener et al., Labour Economics, Vol 47, August 2017, p. 15-34

Do increased instruction hours improve the performance of all students? Using PISA scores of students in ninth grade, we analyse the effect of a German education reform that increased weekly instruction hours by two hours (6.5 percent) over almost five years. In the additional time, students are taught new learning content. On average, the reform improves student performance. However, treatment effects are small and differ across the student performance distribution. Low-performing students benefit less than high-performing students. We argue that the content of additional instruction time is an important determinant explaining this pattern. The findings demonstrate that increases in instruction hours can widen the gap between low- and high-performing students.

Effective Reading Programs for Secondary Students, Arainne,Baye, University of Liege, Cynthia Lake Amanda Inns Robert E. Slavin Johns Hopkins University, August 2017

Recent initiatives in the U.S. and U.K. have added greatly to the amount and quality of research on the effectiveness of secondary reading programs, especially programs for struggling readers. This review of the experimental research on secondary reading programs focuses on 73 studies that used random assignment (n=66) or high-quality quasi-experiments (n=7) to evaluate outcomes of 55 programs on widely accepted measures of reading. Specific programs using oneto-one and small-group tutoring, cooperative learning, and social-emotional approaches showed positive outcomes, as did a small number of programs emphasizing technology or teaching of metacognitive strategies. Benchmark assessments did not affect reading outcomes. Leaving aside tutoring and benchmarks, programs that provide additional time (usually, a daily extra period) were no more effective than programs that did not provide instructional time. The findings suggest that secondary readers benefit more from engaging and personalized instruction than from additional time on supplemental courses.

Cognitive load theory: Research that teachers really need to understand, Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, NSW, Australia, August 2017

This short paper considers what cognitive load theory is- defined as: Cognitive load theory is built upon two commonly accepted ideas. The first is that there is a limit to how much new information the human brain can process at one time. The second is that there are no known limits to how much stored information can be processed at one time. The aim of cognitive load research is therefore to develop instructional techniques and recommendations that fit within the characteristics of working memory, in order to maximise learning.

The first part of the report explains how human brains learn according to cognitive load theory, and outlines the evidence base for the theory. The second part examines the implication of cognitive load theory for teaching practice and describes some recommendations that are directly transferable to the classroom.

These include:

Using worked examples- pupils are shown a problem that has already been solved. Pupils who are taught using lots of worked examples learn more quickly than pupils who are asked to solve the problems themselves.

Modality effect – evidence suggests that working memory can be sub-divided into auditory and visual streams, so presenting information using both these methods of communication can increase working memory capacity – for example, when using a diagram and text to explain something, the written text can be communicated in spoken form.

Access and waiting times in children and young people’s mental health services, Emily Frith, 15th September 2017: Education Policy Institute (EPI)

A report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) examines new data on access to specialist treatment for children and young people with mental health problems, and the waiting times they face. This new data was obtained by EPI through a Freedom of Information request.

Findings show that just over a quarter (26.3 %) of children referred to specialist mental health services were not accepted into those services in 2016-17. The percentage of referrals not accepted by specialist services increased significantly from 21.1 per cent in 2012-13 to 26.5 per cent in 2015-16 and has since levelled off. According to experimental NHS data, around 147, 000 young people were in contact with children and young people’s mental health services in May 2017, therefore it can be estimated that around 52,500 children’s referrals were not accepted over the time period when these referrals were accepted.

When referrals are accepted, young people in many areas are still waiting an unacceptably long time for treatment. The case for national waiting time standards to be put in place is therefore strong. Some progress is, however, being made in reducing waiting times to treatment, which may be due to the additional funding earmarked for children’s mental health services.

International- Wales

£1.28 million invested to cut classroom bureaucracy – Kirsty Williams, 14th September : Welsh Government

The funding will support the creation of new school business managers in eleven local authority areas. The two year pilot will give groups of primary schools a school business manager to provide dedicated support for head teachers and teachers so they can better focus on raising standards and the needs of pupils.

School business managers can help organise and run a range of non-teaching activity in a school, from finance, administration and procurement, freeing up head teachers and staff to focus on leadership and teaching.

The project is part of a range of Welsh Government actions to help address teachers’ concerns over their workload, including a new guide  on how teachers can reduce unnecessary activity, with advice on planning lessons, marking and assessing and collecting data. 

Kirsty William's speech to Liberal Democrats conference, 17th September 2017

In her speech, Kirsty Williams outlined what had been accomplished in Wales in education and her plans for the future: She said:

‘But what we do expect is government to help provide a level playing field. The opportunity to succeed. Division and fear rise up when people feel helpless. To fight this, we as liberals have always believed that education is the key to empowering people. It’s at the heart of what we stand for. We’ve shown this in Wales with our actions……

We are introducing new, rigorous GCSEs and A Levels. We’ll introduce performance measures rewarding excellence at all levels.  And we will take action on early entry. Raising attainment for all. Standards, standards, standards. That is our focus. That will be our legacy…..’

How well do schools communicate with parents?

Estyn would like to understand how well schools communicate with parents. By taking part in the survey, you will help Estyn to understand how well this is happening now and what could be improved, and so help to shape future policy.   

Creative Learning through the Arts – Creative Collaborations fund

Schools are reminded to get their applications in for Arts Council of Wales’s Creative Collaboration fund.

Schools and arts, culture and heritage organisations can apply for funding of between £5,000 and £25,000 to develop creative activities that are out of the ordinary and not run-of-the-mill. 

“If only we had this in England” The Digital Competence Framework’s 1st Birthday, 14th September 2017 : Curriculum for Wales Blog

The framework has been well received by schools. In this blog, Steve Davies, Director for Education and Schools says:

‘In this first year it has been great to see schools being so positive about experimenting with the Framework and using the mapping tool to compare the good work they are already doing against its requirements………Digital Pioneer schools are now actively looking to help other schools with implementation. They, together with our regional education Consortia, have fully embraced the partnership approach to supporting schools with necessary expertise.

At a time when it seems the world is changing faster than ever before, the Digital Competence Framework is a superb response and will help us future-proof our children’s digital learning. No wonder it is the envy of other countries’.

See also Views Sought on ICT Qualifications - Qualifications Wales, GwE, 14th September

EAS Wales- Foundation Phase profile, 7th September

Support for the assessment of children’s learning and development during the Foundation Phase.The Foundation Phase profile (FPP) supports summative assessments at statutory points and provides a nationally consistent method for scoring the Foundation Phase outcomes and progress data. This will be used to support the statutory baseline assessment during reception year from September 2015.

To accompany the Foundation Phase profile a short video has been produced to provide an overview. http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/foundation-phase/foundation-phase-profile/?skip=1&lang=en

Observing children with attachment difficulties in school – using the observation checklist, 12th September

30 Secondary School ALNCOS and teachers attended a successful training session on using the Observation Checklist for young people with attachment difficulties with the checklist’s co-creator Helen Worrall on 14 th July 2017 in the Halliwell in Carmarthen. The training was organised by ERW as part of the Attachment Aware Schools Project.

Further training opportunities are available.

Exciting training opportunities, 13th September

ERW are providing various professional development training for teachers including for the Professional Learning Passport

Are you ACE aware? ERW, 13th September

In 2016 Public Health Wales published a series of reports into Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (http://www.cph.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ACE-Report-FINAL-E.pdf)and earlier this year Welsh Government provided funding for an ACE hub to tackle the negative impact of ACEs. Training opportunities are available across the region to support school staff in understanding the impact of toxic stress. For more details contact the training coordinator Sara Walters: sara.walters@erw.gov.uk

  • A short film has been produced to raise public awareness about ACEs aces.me.uk (http://www.aces.me.uk/in-wales/)

  • A webinar has been arranged by the Welsh Audit Office on November 7 2017 from 12-13.30. Email to register: practice@audit.wales

Standardisation and moderation calendar 2017-2018, ERW


OECD Education at a Glance 2017 OECD

The annual report from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development showing the state of education across 34 countries and economies (OECD)

The global webinar can be accessed here

Summary: for the UK

  • Among OECD countries, the United Kingdom spends the highest proportion of its wealth on primary to tertiary educational institutions

  • The share of total public spending allocated to education is above the average for OECD countries, while an above-average share of funding comes from private sources.

  • In contrast to the general trend across OECD countries, teachers’ statutory salaries in England and Scotland fell in real terms between 2005 and 2015. As in most OECD countries, teachers’ actual salaries are lower on average than the earnings of other tertiary-educated workers.

  • Early childhood education is universal at the age of 3 in the United Kingdom. Less than half of the expenditure on early childhood education comes from public sources (47%), the second lowest share among OECD countries.

  • Vocational programmes are less popular among young upper secondary students in the United Kingdom when compared to most other OCED countries, while expenditure per student is lower than for general programmes.

  • The United Kingdom is the second most popular destination for internationally mobile students at the tertiary level, with international students accounting for a large share of enrolments, especially at master’s level and higher. However, students from the United Kingdom are among the least likely to study abroad.

  • At tertiary level the proportion of students entering the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is the highest among OECD countries, but for engineering, manufacturing and construction it is joint lowest.

  • Employment levels are high in the United Kingdom across all levels of attainment and adults with higher levels of education are less likely to be unemployed. The proportion of young people neither in employment nor in education or training (NEETs) has fallen since 2010. Women have lower earnings than men at all levels of educational attainment, although the gender gap in the United Kingdom is similar to OECD average


England’s children do not have the critical literacy skills to identify fake news, 12th September 2017: National Literacy Trust

A National Literacy Trust report, Fake news and critical literacy: an evidence review, shows that fake news is a serious problem for children and young people, threatening democracy, confidence in governance and trust in journalism.

The report highlights that the rise of digital and social media has enabled fake news to spread at an unprecedented rate as people access and share it easily. With more young people than ever using digital media as their main source of news, and with 1 child in 5 believing everything they read online is true, it has never been more important to ensure that today’s children have the skills they need to survive and thrive in the digital age.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Literacy has launched a Commission on Fake News and the Teaching of Critical Literacy Skills in Schools, following the publication of this new report which stresses that children and young people in England do not have the critical literacy skills they need to identify fake news.

To inform the commission, the National Literacy Trust has launched two surveys -one for teachers and one for pupils- at both primary and secondary level. The surveys are open until 22nd October 2017

Achievement for All: possible areas for considerations

Nick Gibb: The importance of vibrant and open debate in education, speech delivered 9th September ResearchED 2017 National Conference.

Teachers as researchers is an integrated part of the Achievement for All framework