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Evaluation article: Know your strengths Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectation Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence Evaluation article: HR and the successful school: A case study Evaluation article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review Evaluation article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement Evaluation article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement Evaluation article: Transforming a failing school Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision Evaluation article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - January 2016 Evaluation article: Managing uncertainty Evaluation article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - September 2016 Evaluation article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection Evaluation article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty Evaluation article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders Evaluation article: The governing body as a critical friend Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectations Evaluation article: The exam post-mortem Evaluation article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility Evaluation article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model Evaluation article: Effective leadership builds effective teams Evaluation article: Baseline assessment and SEND Evaluation article: Making performance management count in school improvement Evaluation article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust Evaluation article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance Evaluation article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation Evaluation article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser? Evaluation article: Headteachers’ appraisal Evaluation article: Making CPD work harder Evaluation article: Using the Framework for governance Evaluation article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance Evaluation article: Improving provision for the most able Evaluation article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare Evaluation article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools? Evaluation article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment Evaluation article: Raising boys’ achievement Evaluation article: National standards of excellence for headteachers Evaluation article: Governors and the inspection interview Evaluation article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation Evaluation article: CPD: Less measurement and more development Evaluation article: Challenging 
the most able Evaluation article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability Evaluation article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom Evaluation article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons Evaluation article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance Evaluation article: Four steps to school improvement Evaluation article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership Evaluation article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision Evaluation article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence Evaluation article: Getting personal  with CPD Evaluation article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process Evaluation article: Parent View — an update Evaluation article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach Evaluation article: Effective parental engagement

Evaluation article: Know your strengths

Can you make inspection an enriching learning process that is actually good for your school? Heather Clements of Best Practice Network offers some advice. 

Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectation

In this article, Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectation in their schools. 

Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence

Tony Powell outlines a step-by-step approach to support schools in achieving the accolade of ‘outstanding’ as defined by Ofsted.

Evaluation article: HR and the successful school: A case study

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling College, gives a personal viewpoint of the benefits of bringing in the experts.

Evaluation article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress

Steve Burnage discusses engaging with good practice in the leadership of teaching and learning.

Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review

Tony Powell reports on the findings of the final Rochford Review.

Evaluation article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement

A high-performing leadership team is at the centre of any school improvement mission. But how do you go about creating an excellent SLT? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network asks…

Evaluation article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement

Adrian Kneeshaw of Carlton Bolling school gives advice on how to focus school spending on improvement planning.

Evaluation article: Transforming a failing school

Matt Bromley offers some advice on turning around an underperforming school in a short space of time while laying down the foundations for sustainable improvement.

Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision

Tony Powell explains how inspectors gather evidence and make judgements on the quality of alternative and specially resourced provision.

Evaluation article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing

With concerns about mental health rising, what can schools do to help their pupils? Suzanne O’Connell outlines the advice available from the National Children’s Bureau and how it might be…

Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - January 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Evaluation article: Managing uncertainty

If you are struggling with a sense of uncertainty, be reassured: you are not alone. 2016 has been a year of upheaval, with the promise of big changes on the…

Evaluation article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique

Tony Powell provides guidance on how to use discussion with pupils as a tool for self-evaluation.

Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - September 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Evaluation article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection

Tony Powell looks at how to use the feedback from your inspection in school improvement planning.

Evaluation article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty

How can an expanding multi-academy trust ensure that school improvement doesn’t become a casualty of change? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network looks at the issue and offers some guidance.

Evaluation article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders

Adrian Kneeshaw looks at how leadership is important to the success of the school, and how to lead effectively.

Evaluation article: The governing body as a critical friend

In his second article on the headteacher and governor relationship, Tony Powell defines what is meant by a ‘critical friend’.

Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectations

Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectations in their schools.

Evaluation article: The exam post-mortem

Matt Bromley considers how schools can learn from exam performance data and build this into school improvement.

Evaluation article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility

With new safeguarding guidance released, it’s time to check your arrangements and update your staff.

Evaluation article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model

This article outlines the Ofsted methodology for determining whether a school is ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

Evaluation article: Effective leadership builds effective teams

Steve Burnage offers advice on motivating staff, getting the best from them and building effective teams.

Evaluation article: Baseline assessment and SEND

Suzanne O’Connell looks at a report on baseline assessment in primary schools and it’s affect on identifying children with SEND.

Evaluation article: Making performance management count in school improvement

What do you need to do to make performance management a watertight process that makes a real contribution to school improvement? Keith Wright has some suggestions.

Evaluation article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust

Tony Stephens, of the Co-operative Academies Trust, looks at what is the best type of multi-academy trust for a school to join or establish.

Evaluation article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling, gives a personal take on renewing a failing governing body having designed and built one from scratch.

Evaluation article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation

David Birch explains how capturing the views of students can sharpen school self-evaluation and have a positive impact on your school improvement strategies.

Evaluation article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser?

Frank Norris offers advice on how to choose the most appropriate school improvement partner to work with your school.

Evaluation article: Headteachers’ appraisal

David Birch outlines best practice in the management of the headteacher appraisal process and offers advice for headteachers on how to make the most of appraisal in their own professional development.

Evaluation article: Making CPD work harder

Professional development is a crucial factor in school improvement and improving pupil outcomes, but it could work harder, says Keith Wright.

Evaluation article: Using the Framework for governance

Tony Powell looks at how the Framework for governance can be used to clarify the strategic direction of your school.

Evaluation article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard

There is a new inspection dashboard to go with Ofsted's new Common inspection framework. Tony Powell explains how it can be used.

Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance

Suzanne O'Connell considers the guidance available regarding Prevent and school leaders' responsibilities.

Evaluation article: Improving provision for the most able

Ofsted reports are making it clear. The DfE wants to see secondary schools challenging their most able students. In this article, Suzanne O’Connell summarises the criticisms and recommendations from ‘The…

Evaluation article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Tony Powell looks at the new key area ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ under the new Ofsted inspection framework.

Evaluation article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools?

The mental health of children and young people is at the top of the agenda at the moment. Increased anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders are bringing some schools to crisis…

Evaluation article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment

Tony Powell interprets government guidance on assessment to help schools support self-evaluation.

Evaluation article: Raising boys’ achievement

John Viner looks at research into boys’ underachievement and reviews some successful strategies.

Evaluation article: National standards of excellence for headteachers

Tony Powell looks at the revised national standards for headteachers and how they should be used by schools.

Evaluation article: Governors and the inspection interview

Tony Powell discusses how to prepare governors in advance for an inspection interview.

Evaluation article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation

John Viner explores ways to develop a culture of continual improvement in teaching through lesson observation.

Evaluation article: CPD: Less measurement and more development

How can schools translate CPD into genuine improvement for staff? Keith Wright asked leaders to share their views, and discovered an emerging consensus about which approaches work best.

Evaluation article: Challenging 
the most able

Tony Powell looks at how to identify the most able pupils, and the key factors that enable the brightest pupils to achieve.

Evaluation article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability

Tony Powell looks at how the teachers’ standards can be used to evaluate performance and support improvement.

Evaluation article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom

Since January 2014 there has been increased emphasis on the behaviour of pupils. In this article, Jim Donnelly offers advice on managing behaviour around the school.

Evaluation article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons

David Birch offers advice on effective classroom management and argues that effective practice relies on a combination of the consistent application of agreed policy and the development of awareness and…

Evaluation article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance

This is statutory guidance, which means that schools and colleges (including academies and free schools) must have regard to it. It contains what schools should do and what they must…

Evaluation article: Four steps to school improvement

School improvement is a complex recipe that takes time to perfect. Keith Wright looks at some of the key barriers to school improvement and suggests strategies and systems to overcome…

Evaluation article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership

Louise Wingrove gives practical advice on how to become a leader your team will want to follow.

Evaluation article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision

Given that whole-school literacy is central to raising standards of achievement in schools and that it is a key focus for Ofsted, David Birch outlines some of the actions schools…

Evaluation article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence

Teachers are good at gathering evidence of pupil progress, but many find it difficult to do the same with regard to their own professional development.  Keith Wright looks at the…

Evaluation article: Getting personal with CPD

Less than a fifth of teachers in England’s schools think their continuing profession development (CPD) is any good, according to a recent survey. One of the keys to unlocking the…

Evaluation article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process

Performance appraisal is crucial to school improvement, but many schools are still without a rigorous and transparent way of carrying it out, says Keith Wright. Here, he analyses the challenges…

Evaluation article: Parent View — an update

Jenny Townsend looks at the importance of Parent View in achieving an outstanding rating in inspection, and how comments from parents are used by Ofsted.

Evaluation article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach

Jenny Townsend explores how parental engagement can contribute to school improvement and in particular the role this can play in raising pupil achievement levels.

Evaluation article: Effective parental engagement

Ofsted’s Parent View means that parents have a direct influence on the decision to inspect. Jenny Townsend examines why this matters to schools.

Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review

Published: Thursday, 13 April 2017

Tony Powell reports on the findings of the final Rochford Review.

Summary

  • The Rochford Review Group was established to advise upon the assessment of pupils who don’t meet the standards required to take the national curriculum tests.
  • The final Rochford Review report recommends removing the statutory requirement to assess pupils using P scales.
  • P scales presume linear progression, which does not necessarily capture the way pupils with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties make progress.
  • The report also recommended that interim pre-key stage standards for pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests should be made permanent.

The final report of The Rochford Review was published in October 2016. The Rochford Review Group was established in 2015 by the Minister for Schools with responsibility for statutory assessments. Its remit was to consider the best way to ensure that pupils who have not completed the relevant key stage programmes of study, and are therefore working below the standard of statutory testing arrangements, ‘have the opportunity to demonstrate attainment and progress’.

Interim recommendations were published in December 2015 to provide a solution for assessing pupils working below the standard of the tests in 2015 to 2016 not currently assessed using P scales.

These interim recommendations created additional standards to sit alongside those in the interim teacher assessment frameworks. These were used in 2015 to 2016.

Following the publication of its interim recommendations, the review continued with the second phase of its work to recommend longer-term statutory assessment arrangements for use in future years.

The interim and final reports should be considered together.

Recommendations

One

Remove the statutory requirement to assess pupils using P scales.

Two

The interim pre-key stage standards for pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests should be made permanent, and extended to include all pupils engaged in subject-specific learning.

These two recommendations are the core of the review, i.e. remove 1 and replace with 2. The group made these recommendations for the following reasons:

  • P scales were designed to sit below L1 of the national curriculum. With the removal of levels and the redesign of the curriculum, they are a staircase to nowhere.
  • Although in principle P scales gave schools a common language and milestones, in practice they were not formally moderated. This meant they were interpreted differently and therefore did not give a robust basis from which to share information and make valid comparisons. There is an implied criticism that P scales were not used widely enough for partnership moderation between schools and this perhaps explains recommendations 6 through to 10.
  • Members of the review group expressed serious concerns that many schools use the P scales as a curriculum rather than an assessment tool. This limits the range of learning experiences as well as the variety of assessment strategies.
  • P scales presume linear progression. This is a rational assumption for most pupils. It does not necessarily capture the way pupils with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties make progress. Also, it encourages moving on and not consolidation.
  • The new pre-key stage standards were designed to mesh with the revised curriculum and assessment arrangements. Therefore, they provide an inclusive approach which allows staff within the same school and in different schools to make valid judgements.
  • P scales are based on a ‘best-fit’ judgement. The new statutory arrangements for teacher assessment and the interim standards use a ‘secure-fit’ approach.

Three

Schools should assess pupils’ development in all four areas of need, but statutory assessment for pupils not engaged in subject-specific learning should be limited to the area of cognition and learning.

Four

Introduce a statutory duty to assess pupils not engaged in subject-specific learning against the following seven aspects of cognition and learning:

  1. responsiveness
  2. curiosity
  3. discovery
  4. anticipation
  5. persistence
  6. initiation
  7. investigation.

Five

Schools should be free to decide their own approach to making these assessments matched to the curriculum they use and the needs of their pupils.

Six

ITT and CPD should support greater understanding of assessing pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests, especially those pupils with SEND who are not engaged in subject-specific learning.

Seven

Schools with demonstrable good practice should actively share their expertise and practice. Schools in need of support should actively seek out and create links with schools that can help to support them.

Eight

Schools should work collaboratively to develop an understanding of good practice in assessing pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests.

Nine

A statutory duty to assess pupils not engaged in subject specific-learning on the seven areas of cognition and learning but no requirement to submit this assessment information to the DfE. Schools must be able to provide evidence to support a dialogue with parents and carers, inspectors, school governors and those engaged in peer review.

Ten

The report recommends that further work is done to consider the best way to support schools with assessing pupils with EAL.

Implications for schools

Governments commission reviews with a clear remit. This remit creates a framework for any recommendations and signals to the review group what the government would like to hear. In this case, asking the Rochford Review Group to: ‘Consider how P scales fit with the wider approach to assessment and advise on whether they need to be revised in light of the new national curriculum’ when levels have been dropped was inviting radical change. Schools should anticipate that these recommendations will be implemented as part of the wider changes to assessment.

However, currently, the recommendations are just that, so schools are not required to implement them and have time to plan. The day the report was published, the Secretary of State announced that early in 2017 the government would launch a consultation on the whole of primary assessment and the implications for accountability. This will cover key issues, including the best starting point to measure the progress that children make in primary school, and the role and operation of teacher assessment. The recommendations of The Rochford Review will be part of this wider consultation.

The Secretary of State also announced that there will not be any new national tests or assessment arrangements before the 2018/19 academic year. In the interim period, schools should continue to use the pre-key stage interim standards and P scales for the statutory assessment of pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests. The use of P scales remains a statutory requirement. At the time of writing, in March 2017, the consultation had not been launched. This is perhaps not surprising given the intense political activity in other areas, but hopefully a sign that important changes will not be rushed.

Further information

  • The Rochford Review: Final report Review of assessment for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests, STA, October 2016: http://bit.ly/RochfordReview

Toolkit

Use the following items in the Toolkit to put the ideas in the article into practice:

About the author

Tony Powell is an experienced Additional Inspector and LA adviser. He writes extensively on education management, but his main work is in supporting schools to develop systems for self-evaluation, school improvement and continuing professional development. Tony can be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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