School Standards Minister Nick Gibb announced that assessments to measure the progress pupils make from the start of primary school will be designed and delivered by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).
The Reception Baseline Assessment will be administered as a twenty-minute, teacher-recorded assessment of children’s communication, language, literacy and early mathematics skills. It will cover material that many children will already be familiar with and pupils will not have to prepare for it, either at home or in school. It will replace the statutory tests which pupils have faced at the end of Key Stage 1, freeing up teacher time and resources so they can focus on what really matters in the classroom.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
‘…..This quick, simple assessment will us help to capture the progress that children make throughout primary school and provides a fairer measure for school accountability. I would encourage teachers and headteachers to work with us through the trials and pilot to make sure we get the assessment and measures right…..’
For first and infant schools- KS1 assessments will be non-statutory for first and infant schools, at the same time they are made non-statutory for all-through primaries. However, all schools with a reception year, including infant and first schools, will have a statutory responsibility to administer the new reception baseline assessment when it is introduced. In terms of the measures published, there will not be any change from the status quo for first and infant schools which do not have progress measures published now. They will continue to be responsible for demonstrating the progress their pupils have made to Ofsted and those with an interest in school performance.
For middle and junior schools- After KS1 assessments have become non-statutory, middle and junior schools will be in a similar position to infant and first schools, in which they will have responsibility for evidencing progress based on their own assessment information. KS2 attainment information will continue to be available for middle and junior schools. We will work with sector representatives and Ofsted before providing further guidance about the types of information that schools could make available to inspectors, ahead of current progress measures being removed.
This report builds on the statistics presented in the annual School Workforce Census Statistical First Release (hereafter the SFR) by providing further analysis looking at the characteristics and trends of teachers in leadership roles. It aims to generate new insights and is intended to be an accessible resource to stimulate debate, improve the public understanding of our data, and generate ideas for further research, rather than to provide authoritative answers to research questions.
The report is structured in three distinct sections:
Section 1 examines the number of teachers in each leadership role and how this has changed over time. Teachers with a senior leadership role (headteacher, deputy or assistant headteacher) form a small proportion of the overall teaching population, smaller in secondary (10.8%) than primary (18.5%) schools, which has grown since 2010 (up from 9.7% and 18.1% respectively).
Section 2 compares the characteristics of teachers in leadership roles with those of classroom teachers and considers how these have changed over time. The number of teachers retiring peaked between 2010 and 2011. This has provided an opportunity for some teachers to advance to leadership positions sooner in their careers than their older peers, and has consequently resulted in an overall younger population of teachers in leadership roles.
Section 3 explores progression to leadership and how this is affected by the characteristics of gender, ethnicity and region, and then once there how well these leaders are retained. Teachers took less time, on average, to reach a leadership role in secondary schools (50% achieved this by seven years) than in primary schools (50% achieved this by nine years).
A package of measures to help make sure children receive the best possible education either at home or outside of school have been announced by School Systems Minister Lord Agnew. The announcement will support the families of the estimated 45,500 children that are educated at home, providing parents and local councils with strengthened guidance so both understand their rights and responsibilities.
The government is also consulting on revised guidance for parents and local authorities to support them in making sure home education provision is of the highest possible standard. This guidance will set out the processes by which local authorities should identify children who are being educated at home and how best to intervene if they are not receiving a suitable education.
A Call for Evidence has been launched to ask for the views of parents and local authorities on how to ensure children receive the expected standard of education at home, including:
How local authorities can monitor the quality of home education to make sure children are taught the knowledge and skills they need;
How effective registration schemes are for children who are educated at home; and
How government can better support those families who choose to educate their children at home.
The Education Minister also announced £3 million to support the joint working of local authorities, the police, Ofsted, the government and other agencies in tackling the minority of out of school settings that seek to undermine British values or expose children to other harmful practices. This work will help to share best practice across the country. The announcement builds on the recently launched Integrated Communities Strategy, which had education at its core.
Details of the consultation are below (in consultation section)
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has announced new funding to support talented music, drama and dance pupils to realise their potential and kick-start a career in the arts. Music, art and design, drama and dance are included in the national curriculum and compulsory in all maintained schools from the age of 5 to 14. The additional £96m takes the total level of support for music and arts programmes to £496 million since 2016. Many recipients of these funds have moved on to successful careers in the arts.
This consultation sets out proposals for changes to the performance reporting system for FE colleges (including both general and specialist colleges), sixth-form colleges, and institutions designated as being within the further education sector.
Updated the requires improvement and special measures/serious weaknesses sections: section 5 inspections can take place up to 30 months after the last section 5 inspection for these categories. Good schools are inspected approximately every 4 years.
24 educational professionals from Wales have been announced as finalists for the national awards.
Professional standards for teaching and leadership
Look out for the latest poster which will be available for every school in Wales. Download an online introduction to the professional standards for teaching and leadership to find out what they will mean.
Introduction of Personalised Assessments
Welsh Government is phasing in new online personalised assessments from the next academic year (2018/19). Starting with online procedural numeracy, these assessments will replace the paper national tests. The personalised assessments are based on the skills in the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) and will provide information on the reading and numeracy skills of individual learners and whole classes which teachers can use to plan next steps in teaching and learning.
These assessments will be ‘adaptive’, meaning that questions are generated based on a learner’s response to the previous question. This provides an individual assessment experience and tailors the level of challenge for every learner. Other benefits include faster feedback for schools, automatic marking, and the flexibility for schools and teachers to schedule the assessments at points most beneficial to inform teaching and learning.
It will remain a statutory requirement for all maintained schools in Wales to ensure that learners in years 2-9 take the assessments once during the academic year. In response to feedback from practitioners involved in the design and development of the assessments, they will also be available for an optional second use by schools.
The author looks at the ‘recipe for a good apprenticeship’.
‘It includes two essential ingredients: education and training, provided both on and off the job. As with any recipe, results depend on the quality of the ingredients and the way in which they are mixed together. And as any great chef will tell you, the recipe only improves with repetition and continuous refinement.
England is investing more in the development of its apprenticeship system than nearly any other country. Current reforms have created a new structure for apprenticeship programmes developed by employer groups and funded by a new levy on all large employers. Much has been achieved so far, as described in Apprenticeship in England, a new OECD study that compares England’s recent reforms with practices in other countries. Here, though, we’ll focus on a key ingredient in the English recipe that demands closer attention: basic skills.
Young English apprentices receive far less general education than apprentices in other countries. In England, general education (including maths and English) adds up to between about 50 and 100 hours over the duration of an apprenticeship; and it is only mandatory for those not meeting the requirements in English or maths. German and Swiss youth apprenticeships, by comparison, require around 400 hours of general education covering a range of subjects. Norwegian apprenticeships require nearly 600 hours of general education.
The remedy, as described in the OECD's new report, is for England to include more general education in youth apprenticeships – though doing so is not exactly straightforward. Increased general education will demand more time from apprentices, taking them away from the workplace.
The EEF have updated their toolkit with the following new evidence on nine educational topics. Three of these have resulted in changes to the Toolkit’s headline findings.
Mentoring: Added two new meta-analysis to this strand which means the evidence base is now more secure. The padlock rating has increased from '3' to '4' (out of 5) to reflect this. It also means we have better information on the impact of mentoring programmes and, with the inclusion of the latest evidence, the average months’ progress for this approach is now 0 instead of +1.
Metacognition and self-regulation: There’s a lot of research out there on metacognition and today we’ve added several new meta-analyses and single studies to this particular strand. While the increasing evidence base gives us a better idea of what effective metacognitive strategies look like, the addition of new research means the average additional months’ progress for this approach has fallen slightly, from +8 months to +7.
Reading comprehension strategies: Added one new meta-analysis to this strand which takes the average additional impact on attainment for this approach from +5 months' progress to +6. The evidence is clear that both phonics and reading comprehension are effective strategies for teaching literacy.
Guidance reports on teaching literacy in Key Stages 1 and 2suggests that reading strategies are most effective as part of a broad and balanced approach to developing effective literacy.