Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation said:
“We welcome the strong focus on teaching, leadership and the use of evidence in today’s White Paper. Good teaching makes all the difference between success and failure, particularly for the poorest pupils. But, it is vital that there is the capacity in schools and universities to ensure that the new higher teacher training standards are delivered successfully.
“The ambitious academies target also requires a huge increase in capacity if it is to succeed. Yet our evidence shows that while some academy chains are very successful, too many are not yet making the difference they should to outcomes for poorer pupils. The Government also needs to ensure that a focus on all schools becoming academies is not at the expense of weaker schools being turned around. Getting it right in the new Achieving Excellence Areas will be crucial and they must have the resources they need. We also need a radical revival of good leadership development programmes, something lost in recent years.
“We welcome the Government’s continued commitment to the pupil premium, and the importance of ensuring it benefits all pupils, including the highly able. We hope that measures are taken to ensure that schools do more to support and stretch their ablest pupils from low and middle income backgrounds, who too often fall behind in secondary school.
Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said today:
“One of the biggest issues we face in education today is inconsistency across the system – there are big variations in attainment between similar schools, which creates winners and losers across the country.
“Evidence of what works is one of our greatest allies in the drive to achieve excellence across the board. So the government is absolutely right to focus on supporting teachers’ use of and access to high-quality research, from initial teacher training all the way through to school leadership.
“There is a fine line between an autonomous school and an isolated one. So we also welcome the government’s focus on greater collaboration and sharing of best practice between schools. The EEF will be investing more in resources, like our Families of Schools database, which allow schools to share their successes, learn from their colleagues and build capacity in the system.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Sutton Trust publish an annual analysis of the impact of academy chains on low-income students. Chain Effects shows that while the best academy chains are having a transformational impact on pupils’ life chances, others have seriously underperformed and have expanded too rapidly.
- Sutton Trust research has shown the effects of high-quality teaching are especially significant for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds: over a school year, these pupils gain 1.5 years’ worth of learning with very effective teachers, compared with 0.5 years with poorly performing teachers. In other words, for poor pupils the difference between a good teacher and a bad teacher is a whole year’s learning.
- The Families of Schools database is a free tool that groups similar schools together on factors including prior attainment, percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals and the number of children who speak English as an additional language. For the first time, it allows schools to understand the size and nature of their attainment gap in relation to other similar institutions and to learn from the best-performing schools in their family. Launched in 2015, it covers all secondary schools and will soon include primary schools too.
- The Teaching and Learning Toolkit is an accessible summary of educational research developed by the EEF in collaboration with the Sutton Trust and a team of academics at Durham University led by Professor Steve Higgins. The expanded Toolkit covers 34 topics and summarises research from over 10,000 studies. The Toolkit is a live resource which is regularly updated as new findings are published.