‘Coasting schools’: learning from international ‘best practice’

Paul Morris and Christine Han.

Shortly the Government will enact legislation to introduce the new category of ‘coasting school’ into the OFSTED Schools Inspection framework. Schools which are defined as ‘coasting’ will be required to provide a plan as to how they will cease to ‘coast’, and they can be required to convert to Academy status. It is unclear what will happen to ‘coasting’ Academies. Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Evidence-based policy, International comparisons

Free school effects: an impartial review

Francis Green

Do free schools raise the performance of nearby schools, as Policy Exchange have claimed, or is this a statistical mirage?

There is a plausible argument that the opening of a free school in an area might spur other schools to improve in the long run: it is a basic tenet of market competition that producers – in this case schools – will respond to such pressure. But many other factors lie behind good management of schools – including working with the community – so it is far from clear how much effect the opening of a new local school would have in practice, and whether the fact that it was a free school would make a difference. Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Evidence-based policy, Schools

Reading Recovery: celebrating success


Janet Smith. 

“Reading has given you a golden ticket for the rest of your lives!”. These are the words the President and Provost of UCL, Professor Michael Arthur, used to welcome primary school pupils to last week’s Reading Recovery Awards at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). The annual ceremony, hosted by the IOE’s International Literacy Centre, celebrates the achievements of children, teachers and schools. Read more ›

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Posted in Schools, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Teacher training and teacher supply

Chris Husbands.

The shift to a ‘school-led system’ has been a defining strand of Coalition and Conservative education policy – first in school improvement and leadership development, and now extended to other aspects of education policy. In relation to initial teacher training (ITT), it has meant radical changes in approaches to the delivery of training, with many implications for how we think about ‘the teaching profession’, as well as for securing teacher supply. As the government rolls out its latest reforms for managing ITT, it’s interesting to reflect on the progress made so far in implementing schools-led ITT, and where we might be heading in future. Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Schools, Teachers

For literacy it pays to start early

Guest blogger: Jerome Finnegan.

The Read On. Get On. coalition is working towards the ambitious goal of all children in England attaining a good level of reading by age 11, by 2025. Two new reports released by the campaign, for England and Scotland, featuring new analysis by the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), highlight the critical relationship between children’s early language development and later reading and comprehension skills. So much so that the campaign has adopted an interim goal: ensuring that all children achieve a good level of language development by age five. Read more ›

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Posted in Childhood & early education
This blog is written by academics at the UCL Institute of Education.

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