NFER report on support for vulnerable pupils and the children of keyworkers  26 June 2020

NFER has published a report on support for vulnerable pupils and the children of keyworkers.

The report says that vulnerable pupils should receive tailored support to encourage them to re-engage with learning. It also highlights the significant role that schools have played in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable pupils, although raises concerns about the sustainability of this as schools open more widely. The research is based on a survey of 3,054 senior leaders and teachers in mainstream schools in England. The findings were collected between 7-17 May.

National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) – June 2020

A new report published by National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) highlights significant differences in pupils’ level of engagement with remote learning. The Pupil Engagement in Remote Learning report is based on findings from a representative survey of 1,233 school leaders and 1,821 teachers in England. The findings were collected between in May, when schools were only open to vulnerable pupils and children of keyworkers.

University College London’s Institute of Education – June 2020

A research paper by University College London’s Institute of Education finds pupils across the UK are studying for an average of 2.5 hours a day during lockdown.

EEF’s best evidence on impact of school closures on the attainment gap

The EEF’s rapid evidence review examines the potential impact of school closures on the attainment gap, based on a systematic search of existing literature.

Key findings and implications include:

  • School closures are likely to reverse progress made to close the gap in the last decade since 2011.
  • Supporting effective remote learning will mitigate the extent to which the gap widens.
  • Sustained support will be needed to help disadvantaged pupils catch up.

Remote learning

It is very hard to use technology to replace the learning relationships that exist between teachers and pupils in the classroom. A rapid evidence assessment on remote learning conducted by the EEF (available here) also emphasised that the pedagogical quality of remote learning is more important than how lessons are delivered.  Ensuring the elements of effective teaching are present – for example; clear explanations, scaffolding and feedback – is more important than how or when they are provided.

June 2020

Return of pupils to school: Schools’ responses to Covid-19 – NfER research 

As some schools open more widely, a new report by National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) shows how prepared schools are for opening more widely, what challenges they face and what guidance and support they need.

The report presents initial findings from an in-depth and representative study examining the impact of COVID-19 on mainstream schools in England. The findings highlight the challenges for school leaders around issues such as staffing, parental decisions and safety in relation to a phased return of whole year groups.

February 2020
Policy Exchange has published a report, The Watchmen Revisited, Curriculum and Faith in Ofsted’s new Inspection Framework. CST and member trusts were pleased to be present at the round table with Policy Exchange and the Number Ten Policy Unit, on which this report was based.

February 2020
The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published a report on the effects of high-quality professional development on teachers and students. The study, which includes analysis from Ambition Institute, CST’s strategic partner, examines 52 randomised controlled trials evaluating teacher development programmes, in order to establish their impact on pupil and teacher outcomes.

January 2020
The NfER has published a report on Teacher Autonomy and its relation to job satisfaction and retention.

October 2019
The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published its latest assessment of the free schools programme in England.

October 2019
The Education Policy Institute (EPI) published its second report offering further analysis on Unexplained Pupil Exits from Schools.

July 2019
The Education Policy Institute (EPI), in partnership with the Fair Education Alliance (FEA), has published its flagship Annual Report on the state of education in England.

The new report examines the progress made in closing the gap in educational attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, known as ‘the disadvantage gap’. The measure is a leading indicator of social mobility.

The research, which is based on the latest Department for Education data, also considers how the gap has changed since 2011 and how it varies across the country. It also looks at how pupils from different backgrounds perform, as well as the routes taken by students after taking their GCSEs.

Education in England – Annual Report

April 2019
The Education Policy Institute has published a report on unexplained pupil exits from schools. CST has welcomed the focus on the need to improve our understanding of these moves and the focus on data and recording issues that the report shines a light on.

March 2019
The Confederation of School Trusts (CST) and ICSA: The Governance Institute (ICSA) are delighted to collaborate on this report looking at organisational culture in academy trusts.
ICSA Organisational culture

June 2018
Research theme: MAT.
FFT Education Datalab
This post analyses how the qualification offer differs between MATs.

How do qualification entry rates differ between schools and multi-academy trusts?

June 2018
This page is a resource for academy and multi-academy trusts, pulling together recent and relevant research and analysis from learned bodies and organisations in one place. CST does not necessarily support or endorse the findings in these studies.
Research theme: MATs
Education Policy Institute (EPI)

School Performance in Academy Chains and Local Authorities – 2017

May 2018
Research theme: international comparisons
National Foundation for Education Research (NFER)
England has been participating in international large scale assessments for over twenty years. In this briefing paper NFER take a look at what we can learn overall about the performance of England’s education system from across PIRLS, TIMSS and PISA.

Key insights for England from PIRLS, TIMSS and PISA

January 2018
Research theme: MATs
Education Datalab

This analysis looks at the DfE’s Key Stage 4 MAT league tables, focusing on those trusts with more than five secondary schools that count in the tables – 17 trusts in all.

Multi-academy trust league tables 2017: What can we learn from the data? Including a lesson on why we shouldn’t take everything at face value

November 2017
Research theme: MATs
Ambition School Leadership
This report is a quantitative analysis of 402 MATs with four or more schools.

It was designed to identify the trusts that have exhibited sustainable growth and to understand their characteristics. Sustainable growth was defined as maintaining or improving performance while increasing in size.

The research takes a holistic view of each trust, looking at a range of characteristics. It asks the following questions:

  • Which multi-academy trusts are effective?
  • Which characteristics are associated with effectiveness?

What makes an effective MAT? Quantitative analysis of the characteristics and performance of multi-academy trusts

April 2017
Research theme: accountability and oversight
National Foundation for Education Research (NFER)

NFER uses performance data to explore the challenges RSCs face in terms of schools requiring action and the availability of multi-academy trusts that are ready to expand to meet this need.

A Tale of Eight Regions: Part 2: Challenge and Support Across the Regional Schools Commissioner Areas

January 2017
Research theme: MATs
Education Policy Institute (EPI)

Joining or establishing a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) can result in economies of scale and efficiency savings. Overall, MATs spend less per pupil on running expenses and more on teaching staff than local authority (LA) schools.

Key findings:

  • Secondary schools within MATs are spending £49 per pupil less on running expenses than LA schools
  • MATs spend £23 more per pupil on teaching staff at primary level than LA schools
  • Further savings made when geographic “clusters” of MAT schools reach “critical mass”
  • Technology used to overcome geographical barriers, delivering efficiencies and cost savings

Running expenses, which includes everything from back office and administrative costs to cleaning and catering, are a significant part of school expenditure. At secondary level, schools in MATs spend £1,490 per pupil compared to £1,539 in LA schools – that’s a saving of £49 per pupil.

The Economic Benefits of Joining, Establishing or Growing a Multi-Academy Trust

October 2015
Research theme: school improvement / MATs
DfE research report

The evidence in this review points to a number of positive consequences of inter-school collaboration in relation to impacts upon students, teachers, school improvement and organisational efficiency.

Effective school partnerships and collaboration for school improvement: a review of the evidence

To accurately assess school quality in these school groups, the research measures how each group fares with pupil improvement taking into account characteristics such as pupil prior attainment and levels of disadvantage, as well as the historic performance of a school.

Note: CST’s view is that the comparison of multi-academy trusts with local authorities is problematic. In multi-academy trusts the schools in the group form a single legal entity. Local authorities are both political and organisational entities with a very wide range of responsibilities in addition to maintaining schools. The schools in a local authority group have a quasi-legal relationship with the local authority but are not part of a single legal entity.

April 2018
Ambition engaged with over 40 MAT CEOs, through case studies and interviews, and surveyed the staff from twenty-two trusts. The report explores the strategic choices taken by leaders, how this affects the way their trusts operate and how changes in the scale, geography and school performance of a MAT can create break points that mean a trust has to change its approach.
Research theme: MATs
Ambition School Leadership

Building Trusts – MAT leadership and coherence of vision, strategy and operations

February 2018
The review appraises literature published from 2010 onwards to examine how funding levels have changed overtime, how what funds are actually spent on has changed, and how educational outcomes appear to vary with expenditure.

Research theme: funding
National Foundation for Education Research (NFER)

School Funding in England Since 2010 – What the Key Evidence Tells Us

February 2018
The review appraises literature published from 2010 onwards to examine how funding levels have changed overtime, how what funds are actually spent on has changed, and how educational outcomes appear to vary with expenditure.

Research theme: funding
National Foundation for Education Research (NFER)

School Funding in England Since 2010 – What the Key Evidence Tells Us