FrontFoot News – March 2017

FrontFoot News – March 2017

These March 2017 FrontFoot news updates cover a range of educational areas of interest including matters of policy, media, research and statistics.  This report includes items about 2-tier GCSEs, more free schools, SEND, tracking of social media, writing assessments, careers, breakfast clubs and much more.  Click the links below to go to specific categories of interest; when there, the headings link to the full article.


DfE correspondence: GCSE 9 to 1 grading – Justine Greening’s letter

28 March 2017  Education Secretary writes to the Education Select Committee about the GCSE grades 9 to 1. In relation to this Schools Week is reporting:

The TES is reporting:

Ofqual guidance: Qualifications reform – resources for teachers

31 March 2017  Updated to reflect recent announcements.

Ofqual news story: Ofqual unveils corporate plan 2017 to 2020

31 March 2017  Ofqual’s sets goals and objectives for the next three years.

DfE press release: Government launches company to create more free schools

28 March 2017  New public property company set up to purchase and develop sites to help create 500 new free schools.

DfE press release: New agency to provide joined-up education and skills funding

28 March 2017  The new body will carry out the roles of the Education Funding Agency and Skills Funding Agency.

DfE Independent report: SEND disagreement resolution arrangements in England – review

29 March 2017  Review of special educational needs and disability (SEND) disagreement resolution procedures, and the government’s response.

DfE speech: Justine Greening: unlocking the potential of a new generation

30 March 2017  The Education Secretary addresses the Social Mobility Commission conference about transforming social mobility.


Schools Week: Ofsted considers tracking Facebook and Twitter to check on schools

30 March 2017  Schools Week is reporting that Ofsted is considering tracking pupils’ and parents’ social media pages to help decide which schools need an intervention.

Schools Week: School performance tracker RAISEonline to be scrapped in July

31 March 2017 Schools Week is reporting that the Department for Education will scrap its RAISEonline programme used by schools to compare performance data in favour of a new, as yet unnamed, system later this year.

Schools Week: ECDL dropped from 2018 league tables – 12 months earlier than planned

29 March 2017  Schools Week is reporting that the ‘fast-track’ ECDL qualification will be dropped from league tables in 2018 – a year earlier than previously announced.

TES: Ofsted will treat this year’s writing assessment with ‘caution’

31 March 2017    The TES is reporting that one of Ofsted’s most senior officials has revealed that the inspectorate is just as reluctant to use this year’s writing assessments as it was in 2016.

Research & Good Practice

The Education Endowment Foundation: findings from latest EEF-funded projects published

29 March 2017  The EEF has published findings from three pilot projects designed to find out if innovative approaches to teaching and learning can be delivered in schools in a practical way. The three projects are: Spaced Learning, IRIS Connect, and Evidence for the Frontline(developed by Sandringham School, St Albans).

DfE research and analysis: Decisions about A level class sizes

29 March 2017  Research exploring the decisions behind A level class sizes and the effects they have on their cost efficiency. In relation to this Schools Week is reporting: Government study reveals minimum A-level class size.

DfE research and analysis: National Careers Service – economic evaluation

29 March 2017  Evaluation of the National Careers Service and its effectiveness at improving education and training outcomes.

DfE research and analysis: Encouraging people into university

29 March 2017  Report on how sending letters to young people influences their behaviour when applying to university.

DfE research and analysis: Children and young people’s mental health – peer support

28 March 2017  A review of children and young people’s mental health and approaches to peer support.

DfE research and analysis: Education, health and care plans – parents and young people survey

29 March 2017  The views and experiences of people who received an education, health and care (EHC) plan in 2015.

DfE research and analysis: Breakfast clubs in high-deprivation schools

30 March 2017  Findings of a programme to run breakfast clubs in schools with high levels of deprivation.


DfE national statistics: Level 2 and 3 attainment by young people aged 19 in 2016

30 March 2017   The attainment of young people aged 19 in the 2015 to 2016 academic year.

DfE transparency data: Key stage 4 shadow measures

30 March 2017   National 2015 to 2016 Attainment 8 data, mapped to 2017 point scores.