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Language skills: Why closing the word gap matters

Teachers are well aware that pupils’ language skills vary enormously when they first come to school. However, a recent report indicates the extent to which this discrepancy continues to impact throughout their school career. Why Closing the Word Gap Matters: Oxford Language Report makes clear just how important pupils’ language is and not only when […]

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Formal and informal exclusion: another voice of concern

Author: Suzanne O’Connell The children’s commissioner for England has added her voice to concerns about the misuse of exclusion, particularly informal exclusion. Anne Longfield told the education select committee about schools that are encouraging children with behaviour difficulties to leave the school before they are formally excluded.

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Wellbeing for secondary school students with SEN

Author: Suzanne O’Connell The DfE has published The Wellbeing of Secondary School Pupils with Special Educational Needs: Research Report, written by Matt Barnes and Eric Harrison. It focuses on the wellbeing of children with SEN at secondary schools and uses a happiness rating scale and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire to arrive at its conclusions.

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Fairer funding: the next steps

Author: Suzanne O’Connell It’s been a long time in the pipeline but on 14th September 2017 Justine Greening announced the DfE’s plans to change the funding system. Most people agree that change is needed. The problem is that there are inevitably winners and losers.

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The Primary Assessment Consultation

Author: Suzanne O’Connell The government’s response to the primary assessment consultation had a mixed reception. It is clear that the DfE has come out in favour of reception baseline assessment rather than using the baseline of assessment at KS1. The NAHT and other teacher unions are generally in support of this move.

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Ofsted speaks out: the focus on exam results

Author: Suzanne O’Connell It came as something of a surprise to hear Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, speaking out against a focus on exam results. In a twist of culpability, the head of Ofsted appeared to point the finger at schools for slavishly prioritising a narrow range of subjects at the expense of delivering a […]

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