13th July 2018

Department for Education

School leadership 2010 to 2016: characteristics and trends, 12th July

(First published April 2018 - updated with corrections -some small errors in the tables and added more explanatory text.)

Department for Education- Statistics

National curriculum assessments: key stage 2, 2018 (interim)

Key findings show that:

  • 64% of pupils met the expected standard in all of reading, writing and mathematics at key stage 2 nationally - this figure was 61% in 2017

  • 75% met the expected standard in reading, up 4 percentage points on last year

  • 78% met the expected standard in writing - this figure was 76% in 2017

  • 76% met the expected standard in mathematics, up on 1 percentage point on last year

  • 78% met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling, up 1 percentage point on last year.

Data by characteristics will be published in December.

See press release - More pupils in England reach expected standard at key stage 2, 10th July

Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2017, 13th July

Republished with updates- added additional underlying data to include LA district level information broken down by free school meals (FSM). Amended SFR49_2017_KS1_LA_CHAR_UD_2 file in underlying data to correct inner and outer London figures for FSM breakdown.

Revised GCSE and equivalent results in England: 2016 to 2017, 12th July

Updated with additional underlying data to include local authority district (LAD) level information, broken down by free school meals and pupil disadvantage.

Early years foundation stage profile results: 2016 to 2017, 12th July

This has been updated with additional tables underlying data file to include 1. additional breakdowns aggregated at area of learning level for communication and language, literacy and mathematics for 2015, 2016 and 2017 and 2. local authority district level data containing breakdowns by free school meal eligibility for EYFSP attainment measures.

30 hours free childcare: eligibility codes issued and validated, 12th July

By 9thJuly 2018, 209,808 eligibility codes had been issued, but only 50% have been validated.

Apprenticeship and levy statistics: July 2018, 12th July

As of 31 May 2018, there have been a total of 14,200 ASAs registered.

As of 31 May 2018, there have been a total of 174,400 commitments entered into the apprenticeship service. Of these, 165,400 were fully agreed.

There have been 290,500 apprenticeship starts reported to date between August 2017 and April 2018 for the 2017/18 academic year.

This compares to 440,300 and 384,500 starts reported in the equivalent period in 2016/17 and 2015/16 respectively.

Apprenticeships and traineeships: July 2018, 12th July

This release contains provisional figures for the first three quarters of the 2017/18 academic year (August 2017 to April 2018) for England.

  • Apprenticeship starts for the first three quarters of the 2017/18 academic year decreased in comparison to figures reported at this time in 2016/17 and 2015/16.

  • All-age government funded apprenticeship participation reported so far for the 2017/18 academic year is lower than that reported at the same point in 2016/17 and 2015/16.

  • Apprenticeship participation- 753,200 participants on an apprenticeship have been reported so far in 2017/18, compared with 879,500 and 814,400 at this time in 2016/17 and 2015/16, a decrease of 14.4 and 7.5 per cent respectively.

  • Apprenticeship starts- 290,500 apprenticeship starts have been reported so far in 2017/18, compared with 440,300 and 384,500 at this time in 2016/17 and 2015/16, a decrease of 34.0 and 24.5 per cent respectively. Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017, there have been 158,300 levy supported starts, of which 137,200 were levy-supported starts in the first three quarters of the 2017/18. There have now been 1,410,000 apprenticeship starts reported to April 2018 since May 2015 and 3,787,600 starts reported to April 2018 since May 2010.

  • Traineeships- 15,000 traineeship starts have been reported so far in 2017/18, compared with 17,000 at this time in 2016/17, a decrease of 11.4 per cent.

FE data library: apprenticeships, 12th July

Added the document 'Apprenticeships by region and sector subject area: participation 2009 to 2010 to Q3 2017 to 2018'. Also added PivotTable tools covering 2017 to 2018.

National pupil projections: July 2018, 12th July

The nursery & primary school population has been rising since 2009 and reached 4.64 million in 2018, the final year of actual data. However, the rate of increase is slowing, as the lower number of births in 2013 onwards start to reach school age, and the population is projected to stabilise in 2019 at 4.66 million before starting to fall.

The secondary school population rose to 2.85 million in 2018 and is projected to continue increasing until around 2025, reaching an estimated 3.28 million. 


Local area SEND inspection outcome letters- West Berkshire, 11th July 2018

Findings show:

Throughout the West Berkshire area, at every level, practitioners demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and a drive for further improvement. This is because leaders from health, education and care services agree that children and young people who have SEN and/or disabilities should receive excellent support. They are working closely together to achieve it.

In terms of areas for development- Professionals underestimate the ability of some children and young people who have SEN and/or disabilities. This is particularly the case for the most able young people and those who do not have a learning disability.

Social care commentary: multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, 10th July

With the publication of the new ‘Working together to safeguard children’ and local areas moving to new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements for children, Ofsted's National Director of Social Care,Yvette Stanley, discusses the important ingredients for multi-agency safeguarding arrangements to improve the response to children in need of help and protection.

She defined the following as components of successful partnership

  • Effective, ambitious child-focused leadership within and across partners

  • Wide and active engagement in multi-agency safeguarding arrangements

  • Agencies understanding their respective roles and thresholds

  • Strong support and challenge within the multi-agency system

  • Creating a culture of continuous improvement and learning

  • Good systems for information sharing which professionals are confident and knowledgeable about.

Amanda Spielman's speech to the Policy Exchange think tank, 9th July

Amanda Spielman, the Chief Inspector discussed the importance of promoting British values in schools and Ofsted's role in making sure this is done well.

Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from December 2015 - for June 2018

School inspections and outcomes: management information - for June 2018


The reception baseline assessment, 10th July: NfER

This is an initial summary in which the NfER have brought together some of the evidence, practitioner expertise and experience they have drawn on in their proposals for the design, content and delivery of this new baseline assessment. It also highlights some of the detailed investigation which will be undertaken to refine these proposals over the next two years.

It will be a robust assessment based strongly on evidence.

Can summer schools improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils? Caroline sharp, 13th July: NfER

NFER evaluated the first year of the national summer school’s programme, which was funded by the Department for Education (DfE). The main purpose was to help disadvantaged pupils to make a successful transition from primary to secondary school. In order to promote greater engagement, the study identified the importance of mixing academic study with elements of ‘fun’. It also recommended liaising more closely with parents and primary schools.

This report also looked at the effectiveness of summer schools for sixth formers (Y12) aimed at improving access to HEI for disadvantaged pupils and concluded that.

 ‘Summer schools are a promising intervention and NFER is currently working with the Sutton Trust to build the evidence base. Our existing knowledge demonstrates the importance of engaging young people by offering an attractive and relevant programme, liaising with schools and families and addressing any barriers to participation. However, summer schools need to be seen in a wider context of initiatives to encourage social mobility, such as high-quality teaching, tutoring and mentoring and the use of contextual information by HEIs in offering places to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is in line with the recommendation of the 2013 Aimhigher review that there should be a framework of ‘consistent and sustained interventions’ by HEIs and their partner organisations. The recent publication of proposed standards for evaluation of outreach activities by HEIs  will hopefully add to our evidence base in future’.

Quasi-markets, school diversity and social selection: Analysing the case of free schools in England, five years on, Allen and Higham, London Review of Education, July 2018

This article examines the case of England, where the government allows anyone to apply to open a new 'free school', arguing this will improve social equity. Using data from the National Pupil Database for all 325 free schools established between 2011/12 and 2015/16, the researchers (from UCL) analyse whether the students attending free schools are representative of their local neighbourhoods.

The authors find that free schools are located in areas with above-average deprivation but admit intakes that are more affluent than the average for the neighbourhoods from which they recruit. This is particularly the case for primary free schools, which also recruit students with above-average prior attainment. There is no evidence that free schools become more representative as they admit additional year groups. The researchers also find that all categories of free school providers have opened schools whose populations are more affluent than their neighbourhoods, with the exception of academy chains. The authors also find that the opening of a free school leads to a concentrated loss of pupils at the closest school, except in cities, but there is not an impact on the student composition of neighbouring schools. Discussing the reasons for this, they conclude that free schools are socially selective and reproduce socio-economic inequalities.

Partners in progression: Engaging parents in university access, 12th July: Kings college London / LKMco

The report states that universities should work with parents to increase access to university. The recommendation comes in response to the finding that 95% of parents have concerns about their child going to university, The main concerns include debt and employment prospects:

  • Two thirds (65%) of parents are concerned about the level of debt their children will leave university with.

  • Over half of parents (53%) of parents are concerned about whether universities will improve their child’s employment prospects.

The researchers found that parents want to engage with universities and says that parents should not be seen as ‘a problem to overcome’ but as valuable partners in helping children access higher education.


The relationship between Progress 8 and Ofsted judgments for disadvantaged schools, Dave Thomson, 11th July 2018: Education DataLab

Over the last few weeks, there has been much debate about whether Ofsted inspection judgments are biased against schools with large proportions of disadvantaged White British pupils. 

In short, schools with such intakes are less likely to be judged good or outstanding. Ofsted argues that this is because the quality of education in such schools tends to be poorer, mainly because schools in less affluent areas struggle to recruit and retain suitably qualified staff.

The author says this argument seems to ignore the fact that, some groups of pupils tend to achieve lower Progress 8 scores than others, regardless of the type of school they go to. A pupil’s attainment at Key Stage 4 is more than a function of prior attainment and secondary school quality. What happens at home matters too. The author questions whether Ofsted take account of less supportive home environments when inspecting schools.

He concludes that proportionately fewer inspections now result in schools receiving judgments of requires improvement or inadequate. The most disadvantaged schools are now more likely than in the recent past to be judged good or better if they are inspected, although the difference if much less pronounced for disadvantaged schools with low proportions of EAL pupils.

So Progress 8 is a bit of a red herring here. Even prior to its introduction, disadvantaged schools with low proportions of EAL pupils tended to get worse inspection outcomes.  These schools will need to be reassured that the inspection framework, including the new one due in September 2019, recognises the system-wide issue that some demographic groups of pupils do not achieve as well as others.

IOE to develop new network of 10,000 schools to share special educational needs and disability best practice, 11th July

UCL Institute of Education’s (IOE) Centre for Inclusive Education and the National Association for Special Educational Needs (nasen) have formed a consortium with the aim of creating and developing a network of 10,000 schools with special educational needs and disability (SEND) at the heart of their practice over the next two years. 

The consortium will work with SEND organisations in order to spread best practice for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities across England.

IOE academics will work with nasen and to review current SEND training and continuing professional development provision for practitioners. As part of this, the IOE team will support a review of current mandatory qualifications and use research to inform the work of special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) through the creation of an induction pack. 

State of the Nation's Foster Care survey launched, 13th July 2018

The Fostering Network has launched its biennial survey of foster carers. The State of the Nation's Foster Care 2018 survey is the largest snapshot of the views of foster carers across the UK that there is. The survey enables The Fostering Network to really find out what foster carers think about a range of fostering issues (such as foster carer finance, status and authority and allegation support), as well as allowing the organisation to track progress or changes in attitudes since the last survey. It is also central to the charity's policy work and campaigning to make foster care the very best it can be.

You can take the survey at this website- it closes on 31stAugust

We partner with easyJet for new summer reading campaign, 11 July 2018

The National Literacy Trust have joined up with low-cost airline easyJet to bring families top tips and creative ideas to help encourage children to practice their reading, writing, drawing and communication skills over the summer holidays.

The low-cost airline is creating Flybraries (flying libraries!) on 296 aircrafts this summer, putting 17,500 children’s books into passenger seat pockets to help encourage thousands of children to read on their flight – and beyond.

easyJet kicked off the campaign by launching new research which found that over a fifth (22%) of parents said their child has not visited a public library in over a year, and three-quarters of parents (75%) were worried that their children’s vocabulary might be negatively affected by reading fewer books.

This was coupled with National Literacy Trust’s own research, which found that three-quarters of a million (770,129) school children don’t own a book of their own. That’s one child in 11 (9.4%) in the UK, rising to one child in eight (13.1%) from disadvantaged backgrounds.

International -Wales

Welsh Government- Education and Skills

Kirsty Williams praises schools following year of major reforms to Welsh education, 12th July

As the end of school term approaches, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has set out what has been achieved through Wales’ national mission for education and what these changes mean for pupils, teachers and parents.

‘…..One of the most significant and wide-reaching of these changes’, she says, ‘is the new curriculum to be rolled out from 2022. Over 200 pioneer schools across Wales are involved in developing six different Areas of Learning and Experience. This work includes embedding digital competence into all areas of teaching and learning and supporting teachers to develop the new curriculum.

A new independent report published today found that these schools strongly support the changes being made and are enthusiastic about their part in developing Wales’ new curriculum…..’


Preparing for the Digital Competence Framework (DCF), 12th July

This report is written in response to a request for advice from the Welsh Government in the Cabinet Secretary’s annual remit letter to Estyn for 2017-2018. The report focuses on how schools are beginning to ensure that pupils develop their digital competence as set out in Successful Futures (Donaldson, 2015).

The report recommends that schools should:

  • Involve all stakeholders in developing a clear vision for the DCF

  • Appoint a digital lead, secure the full support of senior leaders, and monitor developments regularly

  • Audit teachers’ professional learning needs and use this information to plan training, support and guidance over a realistic timeframe

  • Map the DCF across the curriculum and ensure that there are no gaps in provision and sufficient progression and continuity

  • Carry out hardware and network infrastructure audits

  • Ensure that staff collaborate with others to share good practice.

See related news report: Schools need a clear vision for the new digital competence framework

International -other

How is participation in sports related to students’ performance and well-being? PISA In Focus no. 86

Across OECD countries, 52% of students (15 year olds) reported that they engage in vigorous physical activities (activities that make them sweat and breathe hard and fast) at least three days a week; and boys engage in such activities one day more per week than girls, on average.

The amount of vigorous physical activity a student engages in is positively related to the student’s well-being.

Students who engage in moderate physical activity at least one day per week tend to perform better in PISA than students who do not do any physical activity.

However, students who engage in vigorous physical activity every single day score lower in science than students who exercise between one and six days per week.

Achievement for All Areas for consideration

How is participation in sports related to students’ performance and well-being? PISA In Focus no. 86

Students who engage in moderate physical activity at least one day per week tend to perform better in PISA than students who do not do any physical activity.

The Achievement for All framework enables schools to have a sharp focus on pupil well-being; this is supported through the development of extra- curricular activities, including sport.