23rd February 2018

Department for Education

Measures announced to ensure talented trainees get into teaching, 22nd February

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb announced on 12th February that would-be teachers are now eligible for 3 attempts at the professional skills tests they must pass to begin initial teacher training (ITT) before they incur any cost, rather than one.

This has been updated to add the following details:

  • Increasing bursaries to £26,000 for all trainees with a 2:2 or higher in the highest priority subjects; physics, languages, chemistry, biology, computing, geography and classics

  • Offering a £20,000 bursary for maths trainees followed by 2 additional early-career payments of £5,000 each (£7,500 if teaching in local authority areas where teachers are most needed) in their third and fifth year of teaching, if they have taught in a state school in England since completing their teacher training course

  • Offering scholarship schemes in 6 subjects for 2018 to 2019; physics, maths, languages, chemistry, computing, and geography. Successful scholars will receive £28,000 tax-free in all subjects except maths, where scholars will receive £22,000 tax-free, followed by 2 additional early-career payments of £5,000 each (£7,500 if teaching in local authority areas where teachers are most needed)

  • Offering bursaries for English trainees have been increased to £15,000 for all trainees with a 2:2 or higher, and bursaries in all other subjects are unchanged for 2018 to 2019

Analysis of teacher supply, retention and mobility, 22nd February 2018

This provides an analysis of employment and mobility within the state-sector teacher workforce. It aims to generate new insights, be an accessible resource to stimulate debate, improve the public understanding of DfE data, and generate ideas for further research, rather than to provide authoritative answers to research questions.

Key findings

Post-initial teacher training (ITT) employment rates

Employment rates amongst graduates of school-led training routes (including School Direct) are typically 5 percentage points higher than those from HEI-based routes. There are also significant variations by secondary subject where rates for such as English, History and Geography approach 90%, but with Physics and Modern Foreign Languages nearer to 75%

NQTs and first teaching post

As with teacher mobility, new trainees do not move far to take up their first post with around half of NQTs taking up their first teaching role in a school within 25km of their ITT provider.

Teacher mobility

The headline findings remain the same, namely that 70% of teachers changing jobs move to schools 20km or less away (i.e. within commuting distance). Male, secondary, full-time teachers are likely to move furthest, and younger teachers move further than older ones. There is little movement between regions.

Teacher supply- section 4 looks at a range of factors that could help to explore how we might better understand demand for teachers and within that, ITT places, at a sub-national level. All figures are calculated at a regional level for the purposes of this exploratory analysis. 

Findings show that for primary, the East Midlands, East of England, and South East received a smaller proportion of ITT trainees than any of their measures suggest that they should. Conversely, the North West, West Midlands, and Yorkshire and The Humber had a higher proportion of ITT trainees than their measures suggest.

Conference for Commonwealth Education Ministers, School Standards Minister Nick Gibb addresses education ministers from across the Commonwealth, 23rd February

Nick Gibb spoke about the need for all Commonwealth Education ministers to focus on providing every child with a good education. He said, across schools in low income countries, some 90% of children are not going to be at the expected level in reading, writing and maths by the end of primary school.

Department for Education- Further Education

Prime Minister launches major review of post-18 education, Derby College, 19th February 2018

In her speech at Derby College, a further education college which offers apprenticeships and higher level learning, the Prime Minister warned against “outdated attitudes” that favour academic over technical qualifications and pledged to use the review to look at “the whole post-18 education sector in the round, breaking down false boundaries between further and higher education, to create a system which is truly joined up.”

The review will be informed by independent advice from an expert panel from across post 18 education, business and academia chaired by Philip Augar, a leading author and former non-executive director of the Department for Education. It will focus on the following four areas:

  • Choice: identifying ways to help people make more effective choices between the different options available after 18, so they can make more informed decisions about their futures. This could include more information about the earning potential of different jobs and what different qualifications are needed to get them, as well as ensuring they have access to a genuine range of high quality academic, technical or vocational routes.

  • Value for money: looking at how students and graduates contribute to the cost of their studies, to ensure funding arrangements across post-18 education in the future are transparent and do not stop people from accessing higher education or training.

  • Access: enabling people from all backgrounds to progress and succeed in post-18 education, while also examining how disadvantaged students receive additional financial support from the government, universities and colleges.

  • Skills provision: future-proofing the economy by making sure we have a post-18 education system that is providing the skills that employers need. This is crucial in boosting the UK economy and delivering on the government’s Industrial Strategy. 

See policy paper: Review of post-18 education and funding: terms of reference

FE Commissioner intervention report: The Guildford College Group, 22nd February

FE Commissioner intervention report: Easton and Otley College, 22nd February

Department for Education- Early Years

Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS)- Statutory Guidance -updated 20th February

This document outlines the standards that schools and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5.

It has been republished and updated with a title and summary.


Apprenticeship and levy statistics: February 2018, 22nd February

Statistics covering latest monthly apprenticeship starts, apprenticeship service registrations and commitments, and apprenticeship levy information.

As at 31 December 2017, there have been a total of 12,500 ASAs registered.

As at 31 December 2017, there have been a total of 100,700 commitments entered into the apprenticeship service. Of these, 90,300 were fully agreed.


Early years providers, places and inspection outcomes statistics, consultation response, 23rd February 2018

  1. Ofsted currently produces two early years official statistics:

‘Registered childcare providers and places in England’

‘Early years and childcare registered providers inspections and outcomes’.

  1. The consultation sought views on proposed new arrangements for these two early years official statistics. These proposals included three key changes to the statistical publications, namely:

  • Changing the frequency of the releases
  • Combining the two releases
  • Streamlining the releases to make them more focused and user-friendly.


  • A large majority of the respondents (79%) agreed with changing the frequency of these releases to three a year.

  • Nearly half of the respondents (49%) agreed that joining the two publications together would improve how Ofsted report on early years; a high proportion of respondents (66%) agreed with expanding the current provider level files that report on inspections by adding registration data to it.

  • In terms of streamlining the ‘Registered childcare providers and places in England’ release, just over a third (37%) agreed that the proposed changes to the reporting on register combinations would improve the information. Forty- five per cent agreed with removing the monthly breakdown reporting to focus on the registers at the end of each reporting period.

  • 82% of respondents said that they wanted Ofsted to continue to report on childminder data in chart form. At least half of respondents wanted all of the tables in the inspection outcomes release to remain as part of the official statistics suite of reports.

  • Based on these findings, changes to the frequency and some methodical and formatting improvements will take effect for the statistics published in June 2015. These statistics will report on inspections completed, and the number of providers and places on the register, as at 31 March 2015.

Short inspections of good schools: maintained schools and academies, 23rd February

Ofsted response was published on 5th December 2017 and has been republished with minor edits to paragraph 41 in the report on the responses to the consultation.


Aston, R. (2018), “Physical health and well-being in children and youth: Review of the literature”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 170, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/102456c7-en

This paper provides an overview of trends in physical health outcomes of young people over the last several decades. It makes the argument for the importance of physical health and well-being for the individual and society, including its role in education outcomes. The paper then examines interventions, identifying common factors of effective intervention design to improve physical health among young people. It ends with a discussion of remaining gaps in our knowledge and the implications of this body of research on education, communities and families.

Education is uniquely placed to positively influence the health of students. The paper- on recent trends- has identified two of the most effective types of school-based interventions:

  • Building a healthy school environment: this includes educational interventions, health promotion, counselling and management strategies to promote health and physical fitness. These approaches need to include the whole-school community. Interventions associated with the play environment need to evolve and develop with children and young people as they grow. Building a supportive school culture is also key to effective, sustained behaviour change. For this to work, teachers need supportive school leaders and adequate training, time and resources.

  • Changing attitudes towards risky behaviour: for example, universal school-based interventions for preventing drug use. Interventions incorporate knowledge-focussed curricula (teaching the risks associated), social competence curricula and social norms, and usually a component of behavioural modelling. A systematic review of the literature showed that overall, interventions combining social competence and influence approaches had sustained positive benefits. Interventions that focused only on transmitting knowledge, on the other hand, had the effect of improving knowledge, but did not affect behaviour.

See also the Blog by Tracey Burns Is physical health linked to better learning?

International -Wales



Young People's Employability Skills - a short film for schools


EEF partners with Kusuma Trust to boost maths and science teaching, 20th February

220 schools in regions across the UK – including Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the North East - will benefit from a new partnership to boost maths and science teaching.

The funding aims to improve the quality of maths and science teaching by providing schools with the training and support they need to implement the evidence-based recommendations from the EEF’s Guidance Reports.

Improving Mathematics in Key Stages 2 and 3, published in November 2017, reviewed the best available research to offer schools and teachers practical “do’s and don’ts” of great maths teaching. The report has recommendations in eight areas, each designed to support primary and secondary schools to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates. Guidance on teaching science in secondary schools will be published this Spring.

The partnership between the Kusuma Trust UK and the EEF will help to bring these recommendations to life in schools through a programme of training and support delivered by the Research Schools Network.

Foster carers shortchanged again, 20th February 2018

Following the Department for Education’s publication of new national minimum allowance rates for England – applicable from April 2018 – The Fostering Network's chief executive Kevin Williams said: 'The Government has increased foster care allowances for the 2018-19 financial year by only 1.5 per cent, which is not keeping pace with inflation…….

'We know that 60 per cent of foster carers already feel that their allowances do not meet the full cost of looking after a child, and this below inflation rise will continue to leave foster carers feeling short changed. Allowances are to cover spending on a child, so if they don’t keep pace with prices then either foster carers will be out of pocket or fostered children will be going without……

'This cannot continue. It is crucial that the Government commits to reviewing the rate of the national minimum allowance as a matter of urgency.' 

Long-term disadvantage, part five: What explains the gap between London and the north? Mike Treadaway, Education Datalab

Mike Treadaway considers the reasons for the gap between disadvantaged pupils in the north and London, where those in the north have an average Attainment 8 score 6.5 points lower than that of disadvantaged pupils in London. ‘That’s nearly two-thirds of a grade lower for each subject at Key Stage 4’ , he says.

He goes on to consider the explanation for this, and says:

Pupil attainment at Key Stage 2 is a significant factor (and is, of course, accounted for when Progress 8 scores are calculated), but it is only a partial explanation and when all variables are taken into consideration, these factors can account for around 97% of the London-north gap for disadvantaged pupils.

This implies that the impact of disadvantage is lowest for minority ethnic pupils in schools where they form 50% or more of the cohort (shaded pink) – with the exception of the small number of schools like this in the south.

Where the proportion of minority ethnic pupils is lower, the impact is closer to that for white pupils (or, more specifically, the high impact group). Interestingly, the impact of long-term disadvantage for white (high impact) pupils is fairly consistent with one exception – when they are in London schools and form a minority of the overall cohort (shaded blue).

Data for groups who have been disadvantaged for less time than this long-term disadvantaged group, and value- added data, both show very similar patterns at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4.

And concludes:

All of this suggests that attainment gaps between London and the north are more a reflection of the areas that they serve than the effectiveness of the schools in each region.

Long-term disadvantage, part six: Measuring disadvantage in the north, Mike Treadaway

The author discusses the following:

From our analysis it is clear that the greatest challenge to closing the Pupil Premium gap lies with pupils who are:

  • The most disadvantaged – and particularly those FSM-eligible for 90% of their time in schools;

  • In groups where the impact of disadvantage is high: mainly white pupils;

  • In schools where the proportion of minority ethnic pupils in the cohort is lower than 50%.

The north has higher than average proportions in all of the above categories.

We might, therefore, conclude that the recommendations for additional funding made in the Northern Powerhouse Partnership report are justified – but that they are justified more on the basis of demographic differences rather than differences in school effectiveness.

It might, however, be helpful if it were recognised that there are some schools in the north doing well with their most disadvantaged pupils.

In 2016 there were 1,162 schools in England with six or more long-term disadvantaged pupils in our high impact group, and where white pupils formed the majority of their Pupil Premium cohort.

In 80 of these schools, the Progress 8 score for these pupils was average (zero) or higher – and 38 of these 80 schools were in the north!

Achievement for All Areas for consideration

Long-term disadvantage, part five: What explains the gap between London and the north? Mike Treadaway, Education Datalab

Could schools in the south of England do more for their Pupil Premium Pupils? The Achievement for All Pupil Premium Review will help.