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THE PRIMARY REVIEW and the education of primary teachers Robin Alexander University of Cambridge UCET Annual Conference 9 November 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "THE PRIMARY REVIEW and the education of primary teachers Robin Alexander University of Cambridge UCET Annual Conference 9 November 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE PRIMARY REVIEW and the education of primary teachers Robin Alexander University of Cambridge UCET Annual Conference 9 November 2007


3 The Primary Review ESSENTIALS The Review: focuses on the statutory primary phase, 4/5-11; is financially and politically independent; is grounded in national and international evidence; seeks views across a wide range of professional, political and public constituencies; is undertaken by a Cambridge-based central team, supported by 70 research consultants and a 20-strong advisory committee; combines assessment of current provision with the development of a vision for the future; yields interim reports and briefings, and a final report containing findings, conclusions and recommendations for future policy and practice.

4 The Primary Review INFRASTRUCTURE (Current total number involved directly in the Review: over 100) Central team Director of the Primary Review: Robin Alexander Associate Directors: Christine Doddington, Linda Hargreaves, Ruth Kershner Research Associates: David Harrison, Julia Flutter. Administrator: Catrin Darsley Part-time temporary research assistants: 6 Advisory Committee (20) Policy sub-committeeManagement Group Chair: Gillian PughChair: Gillian PughChair: Hilary Hodgson Members listed on Review website Research consultants (70) Listed on website Communications Communications Director: Richard Margrave In conjunction with Cambridge University Press Office and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Press Office

5 The Primary Review PERSPECTIVES AND THEMES Perspectives Children and childhood Culture, society and the global context Education Core themes Purposes and values Learning and teaching Curriculum and assessment Quality and standards Diversity and inclusion Settings and professionals Contingent themes Parenting, caring and educating Beyond the school Structures and phases Funding and governance

6 The Primary Review EVIDENTIAL STRANDS 1.Submissions open to all, written 2. Soundings regional and national, face-to-face 3.Surveys of published research, commissioned from academic consultants 4. Searches of official data

7 The Primary Review THE REVIEW MATRIX EVIDENTIAL STRANDS Submissions Soundings Surveys Searches PERSPECTIVES: Children Society Education THEMES: Purposes & values Learning & teaching Curriculum & assessment Quality & standards Diversity & inclusion Settings & professionals Parenting, caring & educating Beyond the school Structures & phases Funding & governance

8 The Primary Review THE BALANCE OF EVIDENCE Invited opinion - open / non-interactive (SUBMISSIONS) - targeted / interactive (SOUNDINGS) Published empirical data- independent research (SURVEYS) - official data (SEARCHES)

9 The Primary Review EVIDENCE STRAND 1: SUBMISSIONS Number to date:550 Shortest:Half a page Longest:330 pages Sources:Children, teachers, TAs, heads, governors, LAs, teacher trainers, researchers, parents, unions, faith groups, public bodies, subject associations, professional associations, organisations outside education …….. Topics:All perspectives and themes, especially learning, assessment, curriculum, values, schools, teachers, diversity, inclusion, policy, funding…

10 The Primary Review EVIDENCE STRAND 2: SOUNDINGS Community soundings - engaging with grass-roots experience and opinion - regional, reflecting geographical and cultural diversity - based on primary schools, but moving into their localities - teachers, parents, children, officials, community figures - hard to reach families as well as regular school users - January - March 2007 National soundings - 1: National organisations - 2: VIP teachers group - focus on key issues, problems and dilemmas emerging from the evidence so far - December March 2008 Meetings with other stakeholders

11 The Primary Review EVIDENCE STRAND 2: SOUNDINGS - OTHER STAKEHOLDERS Official bodies and agencies:DfES/DCFS Ofsted, QCA, TDA, GTC, NCSL Opposition education shadows Commons Education / CSF Select Committee Downing Street Policy Unit Professional organisations:Teacher unions: ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NASUWT, NPhA, NUT, (PAT) Phase organisations (e.g. PUG, ECF, PLG, SSAT, UCET?) Curriculum organisations (e.g. UKLA) Other enquiries, eg:Good Childhood Enquiry All Party Scientific Research in Learning and Education Group

12 The Primary Review EVIDENCE STRAND 3: RESEARCH SURVEYS Theme 1:Purposes and values 1/1Aims and values in primary education 1/2The aims of primary education: England and other countries 1/3The changing national context of primary education 1/4The changing global context of primary education Theme 2:Learning and teaching 2/1aChildren in primary schools: cognitive development and learning 2/1bChildren in primary schools: social development and learning 2/2Teaching in primary schools: characteristics, changes and conditions for success 2/3Learning and teaching in primary schools: the curriculum dimension 2/4Learning and teaching in primary schools: evidence from TLRP Theme 3:Curriculum and assessment 3/1Curriculum and assessment policy and requirements: England and other countries 3/2Curriculum, teaching and assessment: the trajectory and impact of national reform 3/3Curriculum alternatives for primary education 3/4Assessment alternatives for primary education Theme 4:Quality and standards 4/1Quality and standards in primary education: national evidence 4/2Quality and standards in primary education: international evidence 4/3Monitoring, assuring and maintaining quality in primary education

13 Theme 5:Diversity and inclusion 5/1Children in primary education: demography, culture, identity, diversity, inclusion 5/2Children of primary school age with special needs: identification and provision 5/3Children and their primary education: pupil voice Theme 6:Settings and professionals 6/1Primary education: the physical environment 6/2Primary education: the professional environment 6/3Teachers and other professionals: training, induction and development 6/4Teachers and other professionals: workforce management and reform Theme 7:Parenting, caring and educating 7/1Parenting and caring: culture, demography and change 7/2Home and school: changing relations and procedures Theme 8:Beyond the school 8/1Childrens lives outside school and their educational impact 8/2Education and the wider childhood context: primary schools and other agencies Theme 9:Structures and phases 9/1The structure and phasing of primary education: England and other countries 9/2The organisational environment of learning: structure, grouping and transition Theme 10: Funding and governance 10/1The financing and financial management of primary education 10/2The governance, administration and control of primary education

14 The Primary Review EVIDENCE STRAND 4: OFFICIAL DATA SEARCHES Data sources- Statutory bodies (DfES, Ofsted, TDA, QCA) plus ONS, OECD and others Main foci- The system as a whole - policy, demography, statistics, standards - Change over time DfES- LA data on staffing, TPRs, funding, initiatives, SEN etc, Government Trends data on targets, workforce, pupil attainment - Comparative UK data - School-level demographic data - Achievement data Annual statistical releases Value for Money Unit analysis of inputs, efficiency & effectiveness - Pupil data via PAT from prior attainment, gender, special needs, first language, ethnicity, mobility, deprivation, in care - School census/PLASC pupil, teacher and LA data Ofsted- Old HMI (to 1994): HMSCI annual reports plus surveys and studies - Ofsted (1994-): HMCI annual reports plus surveys and special studies - School inspection reports and self-evaluations from Lesson/subject data from PICSI/PANDA and RAISO linking school data to national trends QCA, TDA, OECD- to follow (QCA to include SCAA/NCC/SEAC; TDA to include TTA/CATE)

15 The Primary Review OUTLINE TIMETABLE PHASE 1: PREPARATIONJanuary October 2006 PHASE 2: IMPLEMENTATION Launch13 October 2006 Data collectionOctober December 2007 Data analysisMarch March 2008 ReportingInterim reports and briefingsOctober March 2008 Final reportWinter 2008 PHASE 3: FOLLOW-UPFrom January 2009

16 The Primary Review OUTCOMES GENERATING DEBATE Website The submissions process Community and national soundings Official stakeholder dialogues (government, opposition, national agencies, unions) After publication of the interim reports, from October 2007 onwards Media coverage Post-interim reporting debate feeds back as evidence PROVIDING INFORMATION Website Interim reports and briefings Final report Final report supplementary volumes CHANGING POLICY AND PRACTICE Change vs influence: creating a climate of opinion Changing policy Influencing professional thinking and practice Influencing public opinion Immediate action vs longer-term influence Whose education system is it?

17 The Primary Review INTERIM REPORTS: PUBLICATION SCHEDULE All reports, briefings and press releases are at from the day of publication A.REPORTS ON PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS Community Soundings: the Primary Review regional witness sessions Submissions received by the Primary Review B.COMMISSIONED RESEARCH SURVEYS (published in groups) How well are we doing? Research on standards, quality and assessment (research surveys 4/1, 3/1, 4/2) Childrens lives and voices: research on children at home and school (research surveys 5/3, 7/1, 8/1, 8/2) Children in primary schools: development, diversity, learning and educational needs (research surveys 2/1a, 2/1b, 5/1, 5/2 )

18 JANUARY TO MARCH 2008: GROUPINGS AND DATES TO BE FINALISED. Aims, values and contexts for primary education (research surveys 1/1, 1/3, 1/4) Structures, aims, curriculum and assessment: international perspectives (research surveys 9/1, 1/2, 3/1, 3/3) Governance, finance, reform and quality assurance (research surveys 10/1, 10.2, 3.2, 4.3) Schools, teachers, training and workforce reform (research surveys 6/1, 6/2, 6/3, 6/4) Learning and teaching: the pedagogy of primary education (research surveys 2/2, 2/3, 2/4, 9/2)

19 The Primary Review: interim reports EVIDENCE STRAND 2a: COMMUNITY SOUNDINGS Community soundings:9 Locations: London (3), North East (1), North West (1), Midlands (1), Yorkshire (1), South East (1), South West (1) Witness sessions:87 Witnesses:757 By constituency: Pupils (197) Parents (75) Governors (33) Teachers (72) Teaching assistants and non-teaching staff (60) Senior management team members (22) Head teachers (70) Commmunity representatives (86) Other (139)

20 The Primary Review: interim reports COMMUNITY SOUNDINGS: HEADLINES (Interim report 1: Community Soundings - published ) Local differences on specifics, but national consensus on the big issues Positive view of the work of primary schools, but pessimism about the wider educational, national and international contexts Policy: from support to hostility Support:Every Child Matters. Ambivalence:NLS, NNS & PNS. Unease:Centralisation, compliance and loss of autonomy Concern:Rigid curriculum, narrowed by tests; Hostility:KS1/2 SATs. The world in which todays children are growing up Children and childhood under stress; loss of childhood innocence Parenting in decline and families under pressure Loss of social cohesion, community, mutual respect and concern Values: materialism, individualism, celebrity Plugging the gap: schools as communities Global issues: climate change; international security

21 The Primary Review: interim reports COMMUNITY SOUNDINGS: REGIONAL AND LOCAL ISSUES (Interim report 1: Community Soundings - published ) Policy and the achievement gap Selective secondary education Revisiting the three-tier system Parents and families: supporting parents/carers of SEN children Parents and families: reaching the hard to reach Ethnic/religious diversity and national identity Urban schools: childrens safety vs independence Rural schools in an urban system Migration: unreliable statistics; inadequate resourcing; language provision Migrants and travellers: provision and prejudice School intakes: transient pupils in a system premised on stability

22 The Primary Review: interim reports HOW WELL ARE WE DOING? RESEARCH ON PRIMARY STANDARDS, QUALITY AND ASSESSMENT (Research surveys 3/4, 4/1, 4/2 - published ) Mixed messages Stability of the system over time Childrens positive attitudes to primary schooling National data: modest improvements in maths International data: big improvements in maths and science, high comparative standards in reading Limited impact of national strategies on reading standards Gains in reading skills at expense of enjoyment Increases in test-induced stress Narrowing of the curriculum Bigger gap between high and low attainers in England than many other countries

23 The Primary Review: interim reports HOW WELL ARE WE DOING? (Continued) Low level of dependability of national test data Misleading nature of apparent KS2 improvements, Standards too narrowly defined Thin evidence on international comparative standards NLS/NNS/PNS: value for money? Testing does not of itself drive upstandards School accountability should be based on more than SATs National standards to be monitored through sample surveys rather than SATs More use of teacher assessment in summative assessment Shift overall assessment balance towards AfL: impact on teaching quality and thence standards Tie assessment policy and strategies more closely to research

24 The Primary Review: interim reports CHILDRENS LIVES AND VOICES RESEARCH ON PRIMARY CHILDREN AT HOME AND SCHOOL (Research surveys 5/3, 7/1, 8/1 and 8/2 - published ) Childhood. Changing conceptions of children, childhood and childrens needs. Dangers of polarisation: children as victims / threats; as innocent / deficient Parenting. Changing conceptions and demographics of parenting and families: do schools understand? Can they cope? Childrens lives outside school. Their massive impact, for better or worse. Need to understand, respect and build on childrens non-school lives & experiential learning. Childrens rights. Challenge of UNCRC to school power relations and established pedagogy.

25 The Primary Review: interim reports CHILDRENS LIVES AND VOICES (Continued) Scholarisation. Vulnerable children and families: need for early intervention, but dangers of one-size fits all scholarisation of childhood, and of belittling or crowding out productive non-school activities. School work not the only work that children do. Life skills. Testing, targets and the narrow curriculum not compatible with the broader life-skill goals of ECM. Inequality. The impact of inequalities, and especially poverty, on childrens education and life prospects. But the risk that some policies/strategies (e.g. admissions, homework, parental involvement) favour the affluent and increase inequality.

26 The Primary Review SOME EMERGING ISSUES FOR PRIMARY INITIAL TRAINING Early days, but ……... The quality of primary ITE: the best teachers / best trained teachers ever vs sluggish gains in literacy standards, a narrowing curriculum and an unacceptably wide achievement gap. Are TDAs admission criteria / Ofsteds ITT quality criteria set high enough? The purpose of primary ITE: training for compliance vs training for critical judgement and eventual transition to autonomous expertise. The content of primary ITE: what should the beginning teacher know and be able to do? Problem areas: Curriculum beyond the core and (yet again) subject knowledge and the demands of generalist teaching. Curriculum discourse for change, and teachers cultural and epistemological understanding. Pedagogy - How far is pedagogical preparation informed by research? The evidential basis of the national strategies vs recent evidence on development, cognition, learning and teaching.

27 CPD: policy catch-up or engagement with a much broader professional agenda (e.g. evidence emerging from the Primary Review)? The era of informed professional judgement? Whose information? Whose judgement? Competing versions of expert teachers: are ASTs agents of the national strategies or experts in the senses used by Berliner, Dreyfus and others?


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