There has been widespread coverage this morning of parents withdrawing their children from school, in protest against the new Key Stage 1 tests. Some parents and parts of the teaching and education sector are worried that the tests, and indeed the new primary curriculum on which the tests are based, are too difficult and put unnecessary pressure on young pupils. The petition, which has been signed by more than 40,000 people, calls for a greater focus on creativity and teacher-led assessments rather than standardised testing.
We have today released our first Annual Report into the state of English education. The report charts progress towards a series of world-class benchmarks in Early Years, Primary and Secondary education.
You can download the full report here: Education in England: Annual Report 2016
- Attainment is improving, but over 60 per cent of secondary and over 40 per cent of primary pupils are still failing to achieve a world-class benchmark.
- As a result of the new, more challenging, GCSE examinations in 2017, we expect the number of pupils achieving a ‘good pass’ in English and Maths to drop very significantly.
- There is a North/South divide at secondary school, with 44 per cent of pupils reaching a world class benchmark in London, compared with only a third in the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.
- The gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers remains significant, with 4 out of 5 disadvantaged pupils failing to achieve a world-class standard at secondary and more than half not reaching our primary benchmark.
- The relative performance of White British pupils falls as they progress through school. In the Early Years, White British children are among the highest achievers but, by the time they finish secondary school, they fall ten places in the rankings to just below average.
- Pupils for whom English is an additional language (EAL) make significant strides throughout school.
Following the launch of the Report, Executive Chairman of CentreForum, David Laws, said:
“A good education, especially in the Early Years and at primary, can be the single most transformative factor in the life chances of young people, particularly for the most disadvantaged.
“Today’s report demonstrates that, while we are seeing some signs of improvement, there is still a long way to go before the education system performs at a world-class standard. This is especially the case outside of London and for disadvantaged pupils.”
Executive Director and Head of Research at CentreForum, Natalie Perera, also said:
“Our report highlights that over 60 per cent of secondary and over 40 per cent of primary pupils are still failing to achieve a world-class benchmark that would put England on par with leading education systems such as Finland and Canada.”
“While the gap between the most disadvantaged pupils and the rest is generally closing, we still find that, by the end of secondary school, disadvantaged pupils are, on average, almost 2 academic years behind their peers.”
“Over the coming year, CentreForum will be expanding its research into the deep-rooted and complex challenges that our education system must address if it is going to perform at a world-class benchmark.”
The Department for Education published its’ long-awaited consultation on a new National Funding Formula earlier this week.
This first stage of the consultation focused on the ‘principles’ of a National Funding Formula (how it would be constructed; whether local authorities would continue to have control over how it is allocated to schools; and transitional arrangements). The second stage, which is likely to be published in May, will consult on the weighting of each formula factor and, we expect, enable schools to calculate their new budgets under a fully-implemented NFF.
This booklet, produced in partnership with Education DataLab, sets out proposals for what those world-class standards should look like and the progress we think pupils and schools should make over the next fifteen years. It is a consultative document, seeking to initiate debate about expectations and standards in the English education system.
We welcome thoughts and suggestions, which can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The DfE today published figures on the number of people enrolled in Initial Teacher Training this year – and it paints a worrying picture. Despite the slight improvement in teacher numbers in primary and some secondary subjects, today’s Initial Teacher Training (ITT) data (1) shows that there are likely to be over 3500 too few secondary school teachers next year. We’ve done some initial analysis here in CentreForum to understand what is really going on.