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27 June 2014 Raising the achievement of White British pupils from low income backgrounds Lessons from research and inspections Chris Wood, Her Majesty’s.

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Presentation on theme: "27 June 2014 Raising the achievement of White British pupils from low income backgrounds Lessons from research and inspections Chris Wood, Her Majesty’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 27 June 2014 Raising the achievement of White British pupils from low income backgrounds Lessons from research and inspections Chris Wood, Her Majesty’s Inspector

2 Pupils from White British backgrounds are by far the biggest of the low income groups

3 Wide gaps in attainment for White British pupils from low income backgrounds are firmly established by the end of primary school…22% points in 2013

4 The gap between disadvantaged White British pupils and their more advantaged peers is much greater than for any other main ethnic group.

5 White British boys from low income backgrounds are the lowest attaining group but White British girls do not do much better…it is not solely a gender issue

6 Schools where pupils from low income backgrounds do best are often clustered in urban areas with higher proportions of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds Sample based on the 97 schools with above average proportions of eligible free school meals pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 (national average = 14%) and where their eligible free school meals pupils attained above the national average for all pupils at GCSE (59%) in 2012.

7 Whereas those schools where pupils from low income backgrounds do less well are often in small towns and coastal areas with higher proportions of White British pupils. Sample based on the 111 schools with above average proportions of eligible free school meals pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 (national average = 14%) and where fewer than 20% of their eligible free school meals pupils attained the GCSE benchmark in 2012.

8 Add presentation title to master slide | 8 There is no silver bullet…the strategies that are most successful for one group tend to be effective for others  In 2008, Ofsted published a report on successful strategies for improving the achievement of white boys from low income backgrounds:  developing organisation skills  instilling the importance of perseverance  rigorous monitoring of progress and challenging targets  tailored, flexible intervention programmes  a curriculum that is tightly structured around individual needs  creative and flexible strategies to engage parents and carers  strong partnership with a wide range of agencies support

9 Add presentation title to master slide | 9 In 2013, Ofsted surveyed 17 successful schools…they faced very similar challenges:  children arriving with under-developed language and interpersonal skills  a high proportion of pupils had special educational needs  pupils’ progress was often interrupted by frequent changes of school or historically poor attendance  several headteachers reported a rise in parental drug use, domestic violence and mental health problems and an increase in teenage pregnancies, often among children of one-parent families  ‘chaotic’ home lives also contributed to the poor attendance and behaviour with which virtually all the schools had had to deal

10 Add presentation title to master slide | 10 Leaders recognised that low achievement cannot be tackled in isolation…they:  took account of personal challenges that children from low-income families often face, BUT  did not accept that personal problems inevitably led to underachievement  were relentless in helping children to develop the resilience to deal with and overcome the difficulties that they faced  provided what headteachers described as ‘tough love’  supported the emotional well-being of the children BUT ensured that pupils were reintegrated quickly into lessons and back on track in their learning

11 Add presentation title to master slide | 11 Their approach shared important features…they:  had a deep-rooted commitment to the school and community and a keen sense of social justice  identified children in need of additional help quickly  tracked the progress of individual children closely and used information to plan suitable interventions ‘from the outset’  made prompt changes to support programmes when they were not meeting the pupils’ needs  ensured that all staff are responsible for the pupils’ performance  Used the curriculum to enrich children’s life experiences  looked for successful ways to work closely with parents  Worked well with other agencies

12 Add presentation title to master slide | 12 Tracking individual progress and using information to plan suitable interventions  in one primary, the progress of individual children was closely tracked from entry into EYFS to gauge how well they were doing and to plan suitable interventions to help them learn  children all experienced a 30-minute daily phonics session, designed to stimulate their interest in books and other forms of the written word  those with limited speaking and listening skills received extra support from speech therapists  large wall displays were used to plot progress in reading, writing and maths  teachers conducted half-termly assessments which were used to identify any children who were not reaching the levels expected of them  this information was used by class teachers, senior leaders and support staff to plan additional support for those children

13 Add presentation title to master slide | 13 Making sure ‘the right kids have the right intervention, at the right time, from the right people’  in the past interventions in English and maths for White boys in KS4 had been unsuccessful:  they were often delivered by non-specialist support staff who lacked knowledge and skills  the timing of additional sessions had proved unpopular with the most disaffected students.  the revised strategy involved:  regular and rigorous assessment, to identify students in need of additional help and to set challenging targets for them  1-1 support from additional, qualified teachers of English and maths  intensive hour-long sessions for each student, over 6 weeks and focusing on specific areas of weakness, identified in a personal learning plan.

14 Add presentation title to master slide | 14 Making sure ‘all staff share responsibility for the pupils’ performance’  every July all staff in one primary school attend a ‘Data Day’ to examine the achievement data for every class and every year group  staff account for any underperformance in front of their colleagues. While this is sometimes uncomfortable, teachers are keen that their pupils make the best progress and that ‘their charts look good’  staff joining the school attend the day so that they understand the context of the school and its ways of working from the outset  teaching assistants are also expected to attend and when, on one occasion, an individual questioned their need to be there, the headteacher made it very clear that they were ‘all in it together’  shared accountability is reinforced by the performance management arrangements for teaching assistants which are clearly linked to pupil progress

15 Add presentation title to master slide | 15 Learning from strategies that have been successful in engaging with parents  at one primary, the number of formal parents’ meetings had been reduced and replaced by half-termly ‘drop-in sessions’ where parents visit children’s classrooms, see work and receive updates on progress  the school also offered workshops, for example on phonics and calculation, to help parents support their children’s learning at home  improvements to the Early Years Foundation Stage meant that visits were now made to the home and parents attend ‘Stay and Play’ sessions where they pursue a range of activities with their children  school staff also went into the community to meet parents, for example at church or the bingo hall, and put on activities, such as cooking classes, that would appeal to parents and encourage them to take an active part in the school’s life

16 Add presentation title to master slide | 16 Working with agencies to support families who are experiencing problems  one primary school worked with the NSPCC to support families who were experiencing problems with alcohol and substance misuse  another worked with the LA’s ‘Pressure Point’ programme which provided multi-agency support to families with complex difficulties  primary schools were working well with their local children’s centres  one secondary school had its own full-time Barnardo’s officer on site and provided specialised counselling to support students  schools typically provided breakfast and homework clubs to ensure that children from low-income families were properly fed and had the space, resources and advice to complete additional work  one secondary school found that, although the local library had good after-school facilities, students were more comfortable with doing their homework in the spaces that had been provided for them in school

17 Add presentation title to master slide | 17 Improving children’s language, literacy and communication  one primary school had invested heavily in speech and language, particularly in the EYFS - it employed its own speech and language therapist and an extra educational psychologist.  teaching assistants were key in preparing pupils for phonics screening in Y1 and in raising reading levels in Y2 – they were highly trained and monitored closely by SLT.  a secondary school had identified students in Years 7 and 8 with low reading ages:  they and their parents were invited to a literacy breakfast club to help the students improve their reading skills and to give families advice on how to support at home  during the tutor periods specifically devoted to reading, students received further help from well-trained teaching assistants  the progress of each student was very carefully monitored, with the information being collated by the non-teaching pastoral head of year  the latter ensured that families were informed of any slippages in performance and, where necessary, arranged additional support to help them deal with any personal problems that might be detracting from the student’s progress.

18 Add presentation title to master slide | 18 Supporting transition and raising aspirations  in one school, the main vehicle for supporting successful transition to one secondary school was the ‘Smooth Move’ programme  ‘What’s it like to be back in school for a day?’ - children and their parents followed a structured day, attending short learning activities, eating in the dining hall and finding their way round  this was particularly important since many of the parents had had negative experiences during their own school days  in another school, every KS4 student attended three mandatory after- school sessions where former students, who had been eligible for free school meals and were now pursing successful careers, talked about the importance of having high aspirations and how they had overcome problems during their lives  parents of pupils eligible for free school meals also talked to students about the way that residential visits to Cambridge had raised their children’s ambitions

19 Add presentation title to master slide | 19 Enriching pupils’ life experiences and knowledge of the world  On ‘enrichment afternoons’, pupils worked on specially devised tasks in classrooms and the school grounds:  an ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ and a museum contained unusual and interesting objects that which prompted considerable discussion and stimulated pupils’ imagination  a pavement café provided opportunities to find out about different foods and customs of the world.  A dinosaur garden, eco garden, story house and Anderson shelter helped them to write creatively and at length.  the curriculum was further enriched by visiting speakers and very well-attended after-school clubs. All the pupils in Years 3 and 6 took part in a residential event  pupils visited the Royal Opera House, the Tower of London and professional sporting events  music had a high profile in the school. Every pupil played the recorder and most played a second instrument which included the guitar, cello or viola  the environment provided a haven for those pupils who lacked stimuli, including books and regular opportunities for developing their speaking and listening skills

20 Add presentation title to master slide | 20 Making sure there is a good balance of academic and vocational elements  one school adapted its curriculum to ensure ‘flexibility’ and ‘capacity’  it established a ‘Work on Wednesdays’ system, where older students were provided with work experience or with additional teaching and revision sessions on their areas of weakness  students on the borderline for their targeted grade in mathematics worked for a whole morning on the subject and received individual advice and support  recent tests had shown that most students had difficulty with fractions. Therefore, the additional work also consisted of whole-class activities focusing on this common area of weakness  the ‘Work on Wednesdays’ sessions were also used to supplement courses if pupils wished to gain additional qualifications, such as in three individual science subjects

21 Add presentation title to master slide | 21 Attendance and behaviour had to improve before real progress could be made in raising standards  schools had clear policies so that students and their families knew exactly what was expected of them and what they could expect from the school  leaders ensured that all staff applied these policies rigorously and consistently  schools conducted regular monitoring, at a senior level, to check on how effectively policies were being implemented and to identify those students whose behaviour and attendance were detracting from their attainment and progress  schools often appointed additional staff to support the implementation of the behaviour and attendance policies  they had good communication systems that quickly alerted parents to any problems with attendance or behaviour

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