December 2018 Newsletter


The FLSE AGM took place on Wednesday 21st November. Following the resignation of the previous Chair, Mark Dale-Emberton, Sue Hewitt, Headteacher at Beacon Hill School in Thurrock was elected as Chair for the next two years. Barry Payne agreed to continue as Vice Chair.

Reminder: Education Endowment Foundation: New funding round to improve outcomes for pupils with special educational needs

This new funding round from EEF will test different programmes and strategies to improve attainment and other outcomes for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

The EEF will fund evaluations of a small number of practical, cost-effective and evidence-informed projects that aim to improve outcomes for pupils with SEND, and particularly those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Successful projects might be whole-school programmes designed to create a more inclusive culture, or targeted interventions for pupils with particular needs. The EEF is also hoping to fund pilots of interventions working in special schools, to find out how feasible it is to evaluate approaches in these settings.

This funding round is open until 14th January 2019.

Pioneering new approach to assessing pupils with complex disabilities to be introduced in schools.

On 22nd November Nick Gibb, School’s Standards  Minister, announced that a new approach to enable primary schools to better assess pupils with the most complex needs will be rolled out across the country from 2020.

New statutory assessment will replace P scales 1 to 4 and will be based on the ‘7 aspects of engagement’, an assessment approach that focuses on pupils abilities in specific areas like awareness, curiosity and anticipation.

This assessment approach will – for the first time – enable every kind of progress made by these pupils to be identified. This addresses a key issue with P scales, which focused on linear progress, which is not always how children with the most complex needs progress. This will help teachers to best tailor their teaching and provision to meet the pupils’ specific needs and to allow them to achieve the best possible outcomes.

A detailed guidance and training package will be developed and provided for stakeholders, including schools, local authorities, Ofsted and parents. This will equip them with the skills and confidence to conduct and understand the assessment in a way that will minimise additional workload burdens, building upon the best practice of schools who are doing it well.

7 aspects of engagement pilot: qualitative evaluation – STA – November 2018

This evaluation report was produced by IFF Research, working in partnership with Dr. Debs Robinson (University of Derby).

It looks at the use of the 7 aspects of engagement as a summative assessment tool at the end of key stages 1 and 2 for pupils who are working below the level of the national curriculum and not involved in subject-specific study.

The pilot ran from January to July 2018 and involved 55 primary schools.

Health and safety: responsibilities and duties for schools – DfE – November 2019

The Department for Education have updated their guidance on the health and safety responsibilities and duties on schools.

They have also updated their guidance to help schools understand their obligations when undertaking educational visits and other out of school activities.

Approaches to assessment without levels in schools – DfE – December 2108

This research examines the types and range of non-statutory assessment approaches in use in primary and secondary schools since 2014. Findings relate to the following key areas:

  • schools’ changes to assessment and their impact on teachers and pupils
  • communication with pupils and parents
  • schools’ use of information and support for assessment without levels
  • current non-statutory assessment practice

This research was conducted following the commission on assessment without levels report to further develop knowledge of in-school assessment practices.

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