Friday Update – 5 February 2016

This week I look at the changing education landscape with the academies programme and multi-academy trusts, the use of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit in shaping decisions on the use of Pupil Premium funding and the next round of an international reading study of 10 year olds.

EDUCATION SECRETARY: ALL SCHOOLS TO BECOME ACADEMIES
As we are all aware the education landscape is changing with the Government’s drive for more academies and collaboration and partnerships between schools. This was evidenced yesterday when the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, spoke at the Leicestershire Academies Spring Conference and the transcript of her speech makes for very interesting reading.

The Education Secretary stated that the academies programme was expected to grow and expand until all schools became academies. She talked about improving the education system through school-to-school support with the most sustainable, accountable and efficient way to achieve this being through multi-academy trusts. She also highlighted the importance of school governors because of the skill, expertise and wisdom they brought to running schools.

MAKING USE OF THE SUTTON TRUST-EEF TEACHING AND LEARNING TOOLKIT
In November last year I highlighted the publication of a research report commissioned by the DfE regarding the performance gap between pupils from more and less advantaged backgrounds in England. The report highlighted the work of The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), an independent grant-making charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement. As some of you might already be aware the EEF in conjunction with the Sutton Trust has developed a Teaching and Learning Toolkit which provides guidance for teachers and schools on how best to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. The Toolkit covers 34 topics, each summarised in terms of their average impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them and their cost.

When you are discussing the use of Pupil Premium funding and its impact in your Governing body meetings do you know if your school is aware of or using the Toolkit and could this be helpful?

SCHOOLS TAKING PART IN THE PROGRESS IN INTERNATIONAL READING LITERACY STUDY 2016
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) measures the reading ability of 10-year-olds, which can then be compared with other countries. The study is run by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) on a 5-yearly cycle. A randomised sample of 170 schools from across England have been selected to take part in the next round of the study taking place between May and June, with the results published in 2017.