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News 2016

A Comprehensive Future and Kings College London Research Project

A Tale of two counties

A Tale of Two Counties - reflections on secondary education 50 years after Circular 10/65

At a time when the educational spotlight is on Government proposals to expand selective schooling, a new report launched today provides a timely reminder of many unpublicised benefits of comprehensive education told through the accounts of those with first-hand experience of both selective and non-selective education systems. 

The report, 'A Tale of Two Counties', commissioned by Comprehensive Future and written by Nuala Burgess, doctoral student in the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London, looks back to the 1965 publication of Labour's Circular 10/65 requesting local authorities to introduce non-selective systems of secondary education, and examines developments in Buckinghamshire, which chose to keep its grammar schools, and Hampshire which went comprehensive. 

Through a series of interviews with educationalists, parents and teachers, ‘A Tale of Two Counties’ gives us an insight into Buckinghamshire’s alarmingly competitive tutor industry. It also highlights the injustice of making 10 year-old children sit a pass or fail exam which will determine their educational future, and which seriously disadvantages BME and working class children. 

In another part of the country, Hampshire parents champion their county’s non-selective system. Their illuminating accounts describe schools where able bodied and disabled students, ‘high fliers’ and children with learning difficulties all learn to rub along together in comprehensive schools, many of them rated ‘outstanding’. 

Such first-hand accounts are backed up with official statistics which show that the 'stellar' academic performance claimed by Buckinghamshire is limited to just a handful of schools, and comes at great cost to the education of the majority of children.  A comparison of GCSE attainment for Buckinghamshire and Hampshire shows that moderate and low attainers perform far better in Hampshire’s comprehensives. 

The report was made possible by a UK Economic and Social Research Council-funded knowledge co-generation grant, awarded by King’s Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Centre. It is being launched at 6.00pm on Wednesday, 25th January 2017, at an event hosted by King’s College, London. Speakers include Sir Tim Brighouse, Melissa Benn (Chair, Comprehensive Future, educational campaigner and writer), and Professor Sharon Gewirtz (Head of School of Education, Communication and Society, King’s College London). 

The full report can be found here (PDF).

For further details about ‘A Tale of Two Counties’ and the launch please contact Nuala Burgess 0208 581 3041/ 07900 861100.


 

NUT and King's College London research into Key Stage 4

School examsA report from the School of Education, Communication and Society, commissioned by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), has highlighted major concerns amongst teachers that the school performance measure the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is reducing opportunities for students to access creative subjects and increasing student disengagement and demotivation.

The report, A curriculum for all? The effects of recent Key Stage 4 curriculum, assessment and accountability reforms on English secondary education, drew from the insight and experiences of 1,800 teachers together with in-depth case studies of a range of schools. It underlined that the curriculum is becoming narrower and less inclusive, with creativity and independence of thought being sacrificed across the curriculum. 

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, called on the Government to take the report seriously, stating that “the Government could and should learn important and constructive lessons from the … secondary teachers speaking up in this report.”

The researchers found that by prioritising more traditional academic subjects, the EBacc is squeezing out time and resources for creative and vocational subjects. In some cases schools are removing these subjects from the curriculum altogether. One teacher interviewed said, “…We are merely becoming an exam production unit and we are losing the breadth and depth of knowledge that we ought to be giving students”. There was concern that steering students only towards EBacc subjects will lead to disengagement and disaffection, particularly amongst lower-attaining students and students who are more creative or practically inclined.

The impact of exam and accountability pressures on teachers’ and students’ mental health was a significant theme in the report. 84% of teachers worried that the reforms were entrenching an exam culture which undermined students’ mental health and wellbeing. 92% of teachers reported that their workload had increased as a result of data collection requirements. Teachers reported that many colleagues were leaving teaching often due to feeling burnt out and exhausted. While, others reported that teachers of creative subjects were being made redundant or not being replaced.

The full report can be found here


 

Emeritus Professor Brian Street awarded BERA Nisbet Fellowship

160915_Nisbet_fellowshipBrian Street, formerly Professor of Language in Education and now Emeritus in the School of Education, Communication and Society, has been awarded the prestigious John Nisbet Fellowship by the British Educational Research Association (BERA). 

The Nisbet Fellowship is awarded to researchers in the field of Education who have made an outstanding contribution over the course of their career. The fellowship is named in honour of BERA's first president. Professor Street joins Emeritus Professor Paul Black as the second recipient from Education at King's.

Brian Street's work in the anthropology of literacy has had worldwide impact. He is particularly known for his distinction between autonomous and ideological models of literacy and to the development of an international research tradition in the New Literacy Studies.

Photo shows Brian Street receiving the award from BERA President, Professor Gemma Moss. 


 

New Designs for Teacher Development: project begins this month

A new project in the School of Education, Communication and Society (ECS) will undertake a research-based review of initial and continuing teacher education programmes beginning this September. Throughout the 2016 - 17 academic year, 'New Designs for Teacher Development' will engage with practitioners, policy-makers, parents and carers, and other members of the community, as well as with key stakeholders such as unions and professional associations.

The quality of teaching (sometimes expressed as 'teacher quality') is the most significant in-school factor in improving educational outcomes for all young people but especially those who live in poverty or are from non-dominant communities. But what forms of initial professional preparation and continuing development allow teachers both to develop the necessary expertise and to sustain it over time?

Drawing on a local steering group in south London and benefitting from an international reference group of experts and leading researchers in teacher education and development, the 'New Designs' project will inform proposals for innovative developments in King's own provision of professional education. Professor Viv Ellis, who is leading the project, commented: 'There has never been a more important time for universities to collaborate with the profession and the wider public to come up with new, evidence-based ideas for sustainable teacher development. It's vital that research universities like KCL play to their strengths in supporting a profession-led system.'

Dr Simon Gibbons, Head of Teacher Education in the School, commented: 'This important project is evidence of King's College's commitment to outstanding teacher education. At a time of no little uncertainty in the sector, we hope that this engagement with colleagues across all dimensions of our partnership will enable us to develop innovative new approaches that will help to further strengthen the quality of teaching in London.’

Head of the School of Education, Communication and Society, Professor Sharon Gewirtz, commented: ‘I am personally very excited to be involved in this review and am looking forward to working with colleagues on this very important agenda.’

A number of public events are planned throughout the 16/17 academic year, some in collaboration with Innovation Unit, an independent social enterprise, and its newly formed School Design Lab, which supports new thinking about schools and learning in the UK and beyond. These events will be advertised on the ECS and Innovation Unit websites.


 

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON (ECS) – GOOGLE COLLABORATION

Awards for PhD students in computer science education

We are pleased to announce two awards for prospective PhD students in computer science education starting September 2016.  The financial support for these scholarships is provided by Google.

We have one award for a full-time student of £17,800 spread over three years and an award for a part-time student of £7,200 spread over three years. Information about studying at King’s for a PhD can be found here.  

Applicants will be supervised by Dr Sue Sentance.
Read more about this exciting initiative here.

About Google

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, and our approach to computer science education is an extension of that mission. We are committed to increasing CS opportunities for all -- regardless of gender, ethnicity, geography, or socio-economic level -- and aim to inspire young people everywhere not just to use technology, but to create it.

For more information, visit g.co/csedu


 

NEWS ARCHIVES

Children’s Rights seminar, Child Studies, DEPS

To mark International Children's Rights Day on 20th November, Child Studies in the Department of Education and Professional Studies held a seminar on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in England. The UK is currently undergoing the five-yearly reporting process to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child: the government submitted its report in 2014, an alternative report was submitted by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO)s in July this year and the committee will publish concluding observations in 2016. As part of the process, a children’s steering group, with support from the Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), researched and wrote an additional report from children to the committee.  Nearly 1,000 children from across England participated in the research. Read more here.

King's awarded outstanding by Ofsted

Ofsted_Outstanding Cut1Trainee teachers at King’s College London receive an outstanding training according to the latest Ofsted Initial Teacher Education Inspection Report published today.

With over 200 PGCE trainee teachers, King’s offers three routes to qualified teacher status for graduates wishing to teach secondary school students, aged 11 - 18. The report recognises King’s well-established reputation for educational research and professional and academic development programmes for practising teachers and school leaders at masters and doctoral levels.

Professor Sharon Gewirtz, Head of the Department of Education and Professional Studies at King’s, said, ‘We’re delighted with the Ofsted Inspectors’ recognition of the quality of teacher training we offer our students here at King’s. They saw that our trainees and newly qualified teachers receive training founded on a well organised and well balanced training programme. We put educational theory and research at the heart of our teacher training and this, combined with extensive practical experience in schools, equips them to be inspiring and effective teachers ensuring that the students they teach receive the best secondary education possible.’

A team of six Ofsted inspectors observed 15 lessons taught by King’s trainee teachers and 12 lessons led by newly qualified teachers in 24 schools in London and the South East and concluded that there was ‘Outstanding leadership at all levels’. Amongst the strengths highlighted was King’s success in working effectively with its partner schools to supply ‘high quality teachers in shortage subjects across the region’ thereby making  ‘a substantial contribution to improving the quality of education in London and beyond.’ The Inspectors also made their conclusions based on discussions with almost 30 trainees, NQTs, academic tutors, headteachers and other school-based staff. 

For more information on this story visit the King's News Page

CPPR hosts first UK screening of ‘Tested’ documentary

Tested KCL 3During Black History Month, the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) hosted a ‘sneak peek’ screening of the new education documentary ‘Tested' on 29th October. The event was part of a UK screening tour organised by Dr Ada Mau, Research Associate in the Department of Education and Professional Studies, who is part of the team that created the film. The documentary follows young people from a diverse range of backgrounds in New York City as they try to gain a place at one of the city’s top ranking, publicly-funded, selective high schools through taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). The film explores issues around unequal access to 'good' education and resources, race equality, social mobility, achievement gaps, testing, and publicly-funded education. The screening was followed by a stimulating panel discussion with the film’s award winning director/producer Mr Curtis Chin, along with Ms Niaomi Collett (Widening Participation Department, King’s), Professor Meg Maguire (Department of Education and Professional Studies, King’s), and Professor Farzana Shain (School of Social Science and Public Policy, Keele University).

The documentary will premiere at the DOC NYC Film Festival in New York in mid-November. The project team have also been invited by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans to be part of its Screening and Discussion Series in November.

Professor Sally Duensing, 1949 - 2015

SallyWe are very sad to announce the death of Sally Duensing – visiting Professor to STEG and the Department of Education and Professional Studies.
 
Sally was internationally renowned in the field of informal science education.  As one of the first members of staff at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, she was responsible for many innovative exhibits and programmes particularly in the areas of human perception and memory. The Director of the Exploratorium, Dennis Bartels, describes Sally as an ‘Exploratorium legend’.
 
In 1999 she was appointed Professor of Public Understanding of Science at the University of Bristol where she continued to explore the nature of visitor engagement with exhibits, and issues of diversity and cultural difference.  In 2002 she joined the Centre for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS), the research collaboration between King’s, UC Santa Cruz and the Exploratorium, as the project director at UCSC.  In this role she worked closely with a number of colleagues from King’s including Jonathan Osborne, Justin Dillon, Heather King, Jill Hohenstein, Jen DeWitt, and many of the CILS-funded research students and post docs.
 
Around 2005, Sally was appointed as a Visiting Professor to the Department and since that time regularly participated in STEG events and projects, and warmly provided considerable support to both staff and students working in areas of informal science and visitor engagement.
 
Sally’s passion for informal science education was boundless, as was her energy for gathering like-minded people and sharing ideas. Her experience and wisdom was widely recognized and she acted as an advisor to many research projects, and museum programmes across the world.
 
Sally was a fantastic colleague and a wonderful friend.  She is sorely missed.

Professor Jill Adler wins Hans Freudenthal Medal 2015

AdlerJCongratulations to Jill Adler, Visiting Professor of Mathematics Education and holder of a part-time joint Chair of Mathematics Education from 2007 to 2014 at the Department for Education and Profession Studies, who received the Hans Freudenthal Medal 2015 for her contributions to the development of research and practice in mathematics education. The prize is one of the two most prestigious awards in mathematics education made by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), given in each odd numbered year. Read more.

DEPS and CAS London host first BBC micro:bit training event

MicrobitOn Saturday 26th September, over a hundred London secondary Computing teachers came to King's College London to have their first glimpse and touch of a BBC micro:bit! This smart little device is being developed and distributed by the BBC with 29 other partners and one million 11-year old school children will be receiving them for free in January. Teachers of Year 7 children will receive them in December, and this event was the first roadshow in the country to train lead teachers in how the BBC micro:bit can be used by children in school to learn programming skills in an engaging and creative way.  Since the first event at King's College London, the BBC micro:bit roadshow has travelled to Newcastle, Southampton, Manchester and other venues to begin to train other teachers. The intention is that the teachers trained at roadshows can then go on to train other teachers.  The training and materials were provided by Microsoft and other materials will roll out shortly. (Read more)

SAILS celebration conference 9th October

IMG_1392Brian Cartwright HMI  presented a  rousing keynote  speech at the SAILS celebration conference 9th October, Kings College London: He states Ofsted is seeking more science inquiry in schools, not 'tidy books' or exam practice. Chris Harrison and Paul Black  explain the role of assessment in learning  and share the findings from their influential FP7 pan European project SAILS - (strategies for assessment of inquiry learning in science,).  The  SAILS project has impassioned teachers and students about science  and being a scientist. Paul Black on assessment states teachers should 'change to moments of learning not moments of judgments' .

Professor Becky Francis in the Guardian: “The clearly glaring gap in the English system is that of social class”

BFrancis

DEPS Professor of Education and Social Justice, Beck Francis has been interviewed by Susanna Rustin of the Guardian following her appointment as Standing Adviser to the Education Select Committee. Read more here.

 

 

 

Watch our video from past event CAS London BBC Micro:Bit Roadshow - Computing At School at @KingsDEPS

What is Science Capital? - The Enterprising Science Project

Professor Paul Black included in the Institute of Physics’ Honorary Fellowship Awards List

BlackPCongratulations to Professor Paul Black, who has been included in this year’s Institute of Physics Honorary Fellowship Awards list for his major contributions to physics and science education nationally and internationally, through his successful advisory and leadership roles, leading to many important innovations including framing the National Curriculum. (Read more)

 

Dr Carla Finesilver Wins BERA Doctoral Thesis Award

FinesilverC1Congratulations to Dr Carla Finesilver, Lecturer in Mathematics Education in the Department of Education and Professional Studies, who was recently announced as winner of the British Education Research Association's 2015 Doctoral Thesis Award. Her thesis examined the particular difficulties with multiplicative thinking experienced by students with very low attainment in school mathematics, and the representational strategies they use for multiplication and division-based tasks.
Carla’s thesis will be of use to others researching this field, both in terms of her findings regarding the nature of children’s arithmetical understandings and strategies, and the new analytical frameworks developed for classifying and interpreting nonstandard student- and co-created representations.
BERA plans to publish aspects of Carla’s dissertation in Research Intelligence, the BERA Blog, and Insights.

Professor Becky Francis becomes Standing Adviser to Education Select Committee

BFrancisProfessor Becky Francis of the Department of Education and Professional Studies, has become the new Standing Adviser on general education matters to the Education Select Committee, following previous extensive work advising as part of a recent inquiry into academies and free schools.

The Education Select Committee replaced the Children, Schools and Families Committee and monitors the policy, administration and spending of the Department for Education and associated bodies, including Ofsted. It consists of eleven backbench Members of Parliament and takes an investigative role on education rather than legislative one, setting its own programme and choosing subjects for inquiries. (Read more)

Launch of Computing At School Regional Centre for London

199King's College London (DEPS) and Queen Mary University of London (EECS) have been successful in their joint bid to run the Computing At School Regional Centre for London for 2015-2016 and held a launch meeting at King's on Friday 10th July.
 
Computing At School (CAS) is the subject association for Computing teachers in the UK and exists to both promote this new school subject and discipline and support teachers on the ground. For the last two years, the Department for Education (DfE) have funded CAS to develop the "Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science"; through this CAS have recruited nearly 400 CAS Master Teachers to train and support their peers in preparing to deliver the new Computing curriculum. With renewed funding from the DfE, this project is now going to be led regionally by 10 university partners, with KCL and QMUL taking responsibility for the London region. (Read more)

King’s student wins British Council Award

Tim G studentOnce again, a King’s student has won a British Council award for their Master's Dissertation on English Language Teaching.
Tim Goodier, an MA graduate from the Department of Education and Professional Studies won this year’s British Council award for best Master's dissertation in English Language Teaching (ELT).  Tim, a part-time student on the MA in English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics graduated last November.  His dissertation explores the challenging and complex issues involved in the alignment between language proficiency scales and descriptors, and pedagogic materials. The programme’s external examiner described the dissertation as “An excellent piece of work [and] a complex study methodologically speaking which the writer handled with real aplomb. It is also on a topic of real importance to language teachers”.
Tim Goodier, who is the Head of Academic Development at Eurocentres, London said “I am absolutely delighted to have been selected for the 2015 British Council ELT Master’s Dissertation Awards, this is a great honour, and I have been overwhelmed by congratulations from my peers and colleagues”.  The award prompted his colleagues at Eurocentres to bake him an impressive cake in the shape of a giant brain.
 
This British Council award is now in its third year and this is the second time it has been won by a King’s student from this programme.  Michelle Vyncke, a full-time student on the programme, won the award in 2013 and last year Laura Patsko was a runner up.  Winning dissertations are published on the British Council’s English Agenda Website.
The MA in ELT & Applied Linguistics is designed for experienced teachers of English as a second or foreign language and has run successfully for over 20 years.  It is taught by staff in the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication within the Department of Education and Professional Studies (|DEPS).  The exceptional quality of research in the department was highlighted in the recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF), in which DEPS was ranked 2nd of 76 institutions on grade point average for quality.

DEPS’ student wins King’s Cultural Challenge award

KCL-Cultural-Challenge-2015-126We are delighted to announce that DEPS’ student Marie Ortinau was one of four winners of this year's King's Cultural Challenge with her outstanding proposal to ‘Hack the Opera’ which she pitched at the Cultural Challenge final on 03 June 2015.

The King's Cultural Challenge is an annual event for which all students at King's are invited to submit ideas to address a key challenge facing the cultural sector in the UK.  From hundreds of entries, 12 finalists are selected by a panel of experts from four participating cultural partners - the V&A, the Roundhouse, The Southbank Centre and the Royal Opera House. Marie and the other award winners will be offered an  internship with one of the four partners to work to develop their ideas.

Marie Ortinau is a student on the MA Education in Arts & Cultural Settings . Her successful pitch in the final  builds on and reflects her previous and on-going professional and educational work on the interface between the arts and informal education.

For the full story please see here

Academy status ‘not a silver bullet for failing schools’ - Becky Francis quoted on Nicky Morgan’s announcement

DEPS’ Becky Francis has been quoted in various places in relation to Nicky Morgan’s recent announcement that every failing school will become an academy. She was one of several education experts to criticise the government’s plans. Read more

Sixth DEPS member awarded fellowship at Academy of Social Sciences

Thirty-three leading social scientists, including DEPS’ Prof. Becky Francis, have just been honoured as fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences for making a substantial contribution to social science in a variety of contexts, whether through higher education, government or learned societies. Becky joins the following DEPS academics in being awarded this prestigious title: Professors Constant Leung, Ben Rampton, and Guy Cook, and Emeritus Professors Margaret Brown and Celia Roberts. (Read more

DEPS pays tribute to inspirational colleague

Pete-Medway

It was with great sadness that colleagues and former students of Peter Medway, Senior Visiting Research Fellow in DEPS, learnt of his tragic and untimely death on the 16th of January.

Peter worked at King’s for five years as a Senior Lecturer and after retirement stayed on as a senior research fellow for another four years on a Leverhulme project on social change in English. On this last project he researched, amongst other things, the English Department where he held his first teaching post – Walworth School in South London. The school, in many ways, formed his vision of being an English teacher. Unlike most schools of the day it was a comprehensive which appealed to the democratic instincts he had. It had also had many notable heads of department, not least Harold Rosen, who later went on to work at the Institute of Education.

Pete had a varied career, working in both London and later Leeds, where he worked as both a teacher and later as a researcher at the University. He eventually went to Canada working in the linguistics department in the University of Ottawa, before returning to England and King’s. Pete was an inspirational teacher on the PGCE and MA. He re-wrote the PGCE English handbook and we have not altered it since he left. He came back and taught on the MA last year and was as always insightful.

He had a way of teaching that worried away at an issue that was both clear and meticulous; writing about it too so that he could sort out his ideas more fully. So, for instance, he looked at the way English as a subject should be encountered. He wrote, ‘What you come out of an English course with is not -or the important part is not – knowledge you can write out in a test’; instead ‘you come out being able to do a variety of different things, having developed the linguistic muscles and brain-word co-ordination to generate a wide range of subtle and complex performances.’

In some ways this provides a key to his understanding. He exercised his linguistic muscles and brain-word coordination every day of his life and the result was an incredible array of subtle and complex performances on almost everything but particularly on anything to do with what might be deemed cultural. So he was insightful when he went to see students and he was often mesmeric when he taught on the MA. He was fascinating if you just happened to see a play with him, or a poetry reading or art exhibition.

He ran a group based in London for anyone interested in the teaching of English which had an eclectic group of speakers including people from the BFI, Queen Mary College, Sussex University all speaking about various topics, however, loosely connected to the overarching theme of English teaching. And this was important to him too that you could bracket almost anything under the title of English provided you thought about it in the right way.

He will be missed professionally because of the outputs of his work, the most recent of which was English Teachers in a Postwar Democracy: Emerging Choice in London Schools, 1945-1965, but also for his past works, such as, Finding a Language: Autonomy and Learning in School and The Climate for Learning and Bringing English to Order: The History and Politics of a School Subject both of which he co-edited. But he will be missed as much personally for those who knew him. He had about him a quiet determination and a presence that will not easily be forgotten.

Education second in the country for quality of research

In the process of expert review to assess research quality in UK higher education institutions, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 has ranked the Department of Education and Professional Studies as 2nd in the country for the overall quality of its research. Read more

King's celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month was first held in the UK in 1987. King’s is celebrating Black History Month during the month of October to coincide with the start of the academic year. Black History Month has become a key part of many a school’s curriculum, and aims to promote knowledge of the history and experience of Black and minority ethnic (BME) people and pay tribute to the tremendous contribution that generations of people from BME backgrounds have made to British society. Read more here.

Anne Bowker co-hosts “Nurturing the Rich Learning and Teaching of Science” conference

In mid-September, the Royal Society Ogden Trust Education Research Fellows (Anne Bowker of DEPS, Dr Wai Yi Feng, University of Cambridge and Dr Judith Hillier, University of Oxford) hosted a stimulating two day international conference to discuss how to nurture the rich learning and teaching of science in three key areas. Thirty-five leading academics, policy brokers and practitioners in science education came together to consider this question in relation to initial teacher education, continuing professional development for teachers and engaging students with STEM through both formal educational provision and informal learning contexts. (Read more)

Professor Paul Black Named as one of the First BERA John Nisbet Fellows

Professor Paul Black, Emeritus Professor of Science Education, has been appointed as one of the first two BERA John Nisbet Fellows. These are awarded annually to one or more people who are deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to educational research over their career. (Read more)

“Accessibility should be part of everyday arts practice, not just a special event” – Chris Abbott writes invited piece for The Guardian

For many children and young people, particularly those with learning difficulties, attending a theatre performance can be a confusing and stressful experience. Chris Abbott, DEPS e-inclusion reader writes in The Guardian that performance companies must go beyond specially funded projects and start building accessibility into everything they do – and without the response becoming formulaic or predictable. Accessibility should be part of everyday practice and not just a special event. Read the full article here 

Prof. Becky Francis and colleagues receive £1.1M Education Endowment Foundation grant for pupil grouping study

 secondaryschoolgroupProf. Francis and her colleagues have been successful in their bid for funding to investigate best practice in grouping students. The main trial will test an intervention which trains schools in a best practice approach to setting. The intervention will help schools address poor practices, which include mis-allocation, low expectations, less demanding curricula, and fixed positioning in low groups. The trial will focus on teaching within English and maths in Years 7 and 8.

A pilot study of an intervention to introduce mixed ability teaching to secondary schools will also be conducted. Teaching pupils in mixed ability groups has recently been uncommon in secondary schools, especially in the case of Maths. The feasibility study will examine whether it is possible to overcome the common barriers to mixed ability teaching. Read more here

Health Foundation professorial fellows appointed

nurse-hospital_2101382c

Professor Alan Cribb, Department of Education and Professional Studies, has been appointed by the Health Foundation as one of two new professorial fellows to strengthen academic research in patient safety and person-centred care.

The Health Foundation is committed to investing in leading thinkers: providing experts with the resources to develop world-class research to improve the quality of care. (Read more)

Professor Becky Francis' book "The Identities and Practices of High Achieving Pupils" won first prize in the Society for Educational Studies Book Prize Awards last month.

Some high achieving pupils – especially boys – experience tension between academic attainment and popularity at school, whilst others manage to maintain simultaneous popularity and achievement. While there has been strong sociological attention to underachieving students, there has been far less on those with high attainment.

The research carried out by Becky Francis, Christine Skelton and Barbara Read set out to explore the role of gender in the classroom practices and identities of high achieving 12–13 year-old pupils, with an especial focus on a sub-group identified as high achieving and popular. (See more here)

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