There has been much activity recently in the world of education, so I thought I would highlight some of the findings from this report (available to view here) — a survey of teachers’ and school leaders including topics of assessment, accountability and character.
Almost 200 respondents from over 1500 schools completed the survey (the primary sample was ‘representative of the national population in terms of free school meals eligibility, school type, regions, achievement and local authority type’ the secondary school was ‘not representative in terms of FSM eligibility so weighting was applied’).
- Since the removal of levels, 71% of teachers and SLT reported that ‘their school had developed new approaches to assessment’.
- 11% of secondary respondents said their school was keeping levels (2% in primary).
- 76% said staff would benefit from additional training on assessment without levels.
- 49% said data was collected and recorded more than once a term (46% was collected termly).
- 69% of respondents from primary said they had ‘changed the curriculum covered’ and the way ‘they monitored pupil progress’ in preparing for the new floor standard*.
- New secondary accountability (includes Attainment 8** and Progress 8***) saw 62% of SLT carrying on as they had been in terms of resourcing, with 19% focussing on high attainers.
* Floor standard: ‘defines the minimum standards for pupil achievements and/or progress that the Government expects’. In 2016, 65% of pupils must achieve the expected standard in reading writing and maths to be above the floor standard.
**Attainment 8: measures the achievement of pupils across eight subjects and makes comparisons to the average score of pupils with the same starting point.
***Progress 8: ‘calculated for each pupil by comparing their achievement — their Attainment 8 score — with the average Attainment 8 score of all pupils nationally who had a similar starting point’ (using KS2 SATS data).
Recent publication on the Progress 8 measure in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Careers and apprenticeships
In fulfilling the statutory duty by schools to provide independent careers guidance for pupils in Years 8 – 13, 86% of secondary SLT reported that a careers fair was the most common activity, along with providing access to websites (82%). In terms of support in promoting apprenticeships, 66% reported their desire for ‘a free online tool for pupils to search and apply for apprenticeship vacancies.’
2015 – 2016 saw funding to expand initiatives in over 1100 schools that ‘successfully improve the character of young people’. Sport was the most popular extra-curricular activity with 83% of secondary leaders and 39% of primary leaders offering five or more than five options. The DfE announced 9 winners earlier this month.
Confidence in implementing the new duty on schools to ‘have regard to the need to prevent children and young people from being drawn into terrorism’ was reportedly varied. 83% of SLT were very confident or fairly confident, with 52% of classroom teachers reporting that they were either very confident or fairly confident implementing it. 7% were unaware of it. Secondary staff were also more confident than primary staff in implementing the new duty (71% to 63%).
65% of pupils spent ‘more than two hours and up to three hours’ per week on PE (for both primary and secondary).
SLT reported that 34% of pupils spent between half an hour and an hour on physical activity at lunch and break times.
English as an additional language (EAL)
In terms of provision:
- 49% provided scaffolding in curriculum subjects
- 42% provided individual ‘intensive catch-up support’
- 34% provided 1:1 tuition
- 34% had an EAL coordinator
2015 figures report 19% of primary school pupils have EAL and 15% of secondary school pupils.