13 Dec What We’re Reading: December 2017
8 November 2017
Analysis by the EPI on the teacher recruitment and retention issues faced by the early years sector. The evidence provides only mixed answers to the question “What really counts as high quality?”, when it comes to the early years workforce. studies found a clear link between the quality of provision and the presence among the staff of a person with a degree-level qualification, particularly in deprived areas. On the other hand, a more recent study showed that the presence of a graduate had a very minor impact on children’s outcome
17 November 2017
6 minute film about the Harrow Club (home to the WLZ offices) and its immediate response to the Grenfell Tower fire, shown at this year’s BBC Children in Need.
1 December 2017
Preschool children are being grouped by ability and behaviour in classrooms in England. Around half of the 118 nursery school teachers questioned for the survey by academics at the University of London said they grouped their two- to four-year-olds for teaching reading, and a third did so for maths. The tendency to use groups increased later in primary schools. The researchers found children quickly worked out that they had been grouped according to different abilities despite the efforts of teachers to conceal the differences.
Teacher observation is an integral part of professional development in English schools. A recent US study found that structured lesson observation led to gains in student and teacher performance. However, an EEF-funded evaluation found no overall improvement in combined maths and English GCSE scores as a result of structured teacher observation. This does not mean that general peer observation has no impact, but rather that this structured observation programme was not found to have any benefits over the status quo.
7 December 2017
While high deprivation indicators based on health, crime, education and crucially income are commonly linked to high truancy, a closer look at the data shows this isn’t necessarily the case.
Bath and North East Somerset is one of England’s wealthiest local authorities, according to deprivation indices, but it had one of the highest levels of truancy in 2015 to 2016. At the other end of the scale Manchester, a city which ranks highly on deprivation levels, had one of the lowest levels of truancy.
16 November 2017
The Department for Education is consulting on plans to restrict children’s eligibility for free school meals if their parents claim universal credit. Andy Ratcliffe, the chief executive of Impetus-PEF said the plan means some pupils will gain and then lose eligibility for free school meals within the space of a few months, at the same time as the census data which informs exam results and school funding is collected. “Children will be recorded as eligible for free school meals who wouldn’t have been under the old system, but then they will not be eligible when the new system is introduced next year,” he said.