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Archive for the 'Teachers and teaching assistants' Category

SEND Green Paper: what kind of training would help professionals better support children and young people?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 October 2022

Workshop participants in a session

Photo: Jason Ilagan for UCL Faculty of Education and Society

Miriam McBreen and Jo Van Herwegen.

In our third blog post responding to the DFE’s Green Paper reviewing the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) system, we consider what training the workforce needs so that practitioners are equipped to effectively support pupils with SEND. This involves considering the role of multiple educational professionals, including Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCOs), teachers and teaching assistants (TAs).

SENCOs play a central role in supporting children with SEND. They coordinate children’s provision, help implement the graduated response to need, and work with key stakeholders around the child. SENCOs are currently required to have a Master’s level qualification and it is important that this qualification be maintained. It helps ensure that they have access to up-to-date research, develop critical engagement with current issues in the field, and become reflective in their practice. Indeed, Esposito and Carroll demonstrate a range of evidence that SENCOs are critically engaging with research at the (more…)

SEND Green Paper: How do we update the processes used in the SEND system to make it more efficient?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital26 September 2022

Early diagnosis is crucial. Photo:  RetyiRetyi / Pixabay

Miriam McBreen and Jo Van Herwegen.

In our second blog post responding to the DFE’s Green Paper on the future of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP), we look at how processes need to change to ensure the system more effectively supports these pupils.

This includes a need to improve the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process, in particular with regards to diagnosis and labelling, and to support practitioners to work more effectively with families.

First of all, the EHCP process needs updating. While the SEND code of practice suggests actively involving the child and parents, our research suggests the child’s voice is often not captured where it could be. Research from Tyan and Van Herwegen suggests the voices of children with intellectual disabilities as young as five years old can be accurately captured when professionals have appropriate training. This highlights the (more…)

SEND Green Paper: how can we update the system to improve children and young people’s experiences and outcomes?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital23 September 2022

Photo: olly via Adobe Stock

 Jo Van Herwegen and Miriam McBreen.

Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) too often report negative experiences of the UK educational system, and have poorer outcomes compared to their peers.

Responding to the Department for Education’s Green Paper on the future of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP), we consider how provision can be improved to ensure that more children and young people have positive educational experiences, as well as better outcomes.

In the first of three blogs, we propose ways to improve standards for supporting children with SEND, both during their time in school and beyond.

First of all, standards should be established to support pupils with SEND during transitions, such as the move from primary (more…)

The unbroken demand for (poorly paid) teachers

Blog Editor, IOE Digital26 August 2022

Golo Henseke and Shunyu Yang.

Teacher recruitment is faltering. Despite an increase in the number of teacher trainees in 2020/21, schools anticipate severe staffing challenges for the upcoming academic year.

How did we get here?

This is the second post in a two-part blog series on the teaching profession using data from online job vacancies. The first post investigated job skill requirements, how they have changed since 2012, and how they relate to pay. This blog tracks changes in the demand for and pay of teachers since (more…)

Thinking of becoming a teacher? These are the top skills employers are looking for

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 August 2022

Golo Henseke and Shunyu Yang.

Excellent, highly skilled teachers are crucial for quality education – as this year’s round of exam results highlight once again. However, while the critical role of teachers on student outcomes has received a great deal of attention, less is known about how schools design teacher jobs and what skills they seek to enable excellent teaching.

This blog is the first post in a two-part series on the teaching profession, drawing on a large number of job adverts between 2012 and 2020. This first post looks at skills requirements in teacher vacancies, how they have changed since 2012, and how they relate to pay.

The analysis shows: First, skills requirements rose. Second, softs have become more important. Third, in 2020, employers would pay a premium for specialist expertise, people-management and cognitive skills – but IT skills were not highly valued, despite most teaching going online during (more…)

The London riots ten years on: how a crackdown on protest became their main legacy

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 August 2021

Matteo Tiratelli.

In the summer of 2014, I was called for jury service at the Inner London Crown Court. At the time, trials relating to the 2011 riots in England were still working their way through the court system, and one of my first cases involved a man who had been arrested near the site of the riots in Croydon, south London.

The original trial had broken down when the last set of jurors were given the man’s rucksack to examine and promptly discovered that the items contained within it didn’t match the police’s inventory. At the retrial, the police skirted over these investigatory errors. The jury eventually reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty.

This is just one example of the 3,000 plus arrests made in the wake of the English riots of 2011. But, for those not personally involved, one of the most remarkable things about those events was how (more…)

Does class size matter? We’ll get a better answer if we rethink the debate

Blog Editor, IOE Digital13 November 2020

Peter Blatchford and Anthony Russell.

For many teachers, large classes present problems which adversely affect their practice and their pupils’ learning. This is what our surveys show. But researchers and commentators often have a different view. For them the class size debate can be summed up with the question: does class size affect pupil attainment?

As we show in our new open access book, ‘Rethinking Class Size: The Complex Story of Impact on Teaching and Learning’, published by UCL Press this week, researchers (contrary to a practitioner view) commonly find that the statistical association between class size and attainment is not marked and so conclude that class size does not matter much. This has led some to even suggest that we could raise class sizes, and instead invest savings in professional development for teachers. Currently, in the wake of the Covid pandemic and teacher absences, there are reports of some schools being forced to create supersized classes of 60 pupils.

The view that class size is not important is probably the predominant view among researchers and policy makers, and so they may be relatively relaxed about increases in class size. We therefore need – more than ever – good quality evidence on class size effects, but in our view much research is limited and leads to misleading conclusions.

We identify three problems. (more…)

Proceed with caution: unravelling the evidence behind the DFE’s Covid guidance on teaching assistants

Blog Editor, IOE Digital17 July 2020

Rob Webster.

In the early stages of the UK government’s response to the Coronavirus health emergency, it was common to hear that decisions were ‘being led by the science’. As attention begins to shift to addressing the impact of school closures on the attainment gap, it is essential that schools adopt a similar evidence-based approach.

The DfE’s guidance for the full opening of schools in September contains the following advice for school leaders on deploying teaching assistants (TAs) and other support staff:

“Where support staff capacity is available, schools may consider using this to support catch-up provision or targeted interventions. Teaching assistants may also be deployed to lead groups or cover lessons, under the direction and supervision of a qualified, or nominated, teacher”.

This section of the DfE guidance goes on to point school leaders towards the practical recommendations contained in the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants report. Ordinarily, a link to the EEF’s work in DfE literature is a tacit signal to the reader that the advice being provided is trustworthy, robust (more…)

Schools never shut: the extraordinary lengths teachers have been going to in supporting children during lockdown

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 June 2020

Alice Bradbury.

There has been much discussion in the news about schools ‘re-opening’ in the last few weeks; however, schools have never been ‘closed’ during the COVID-19 crisis, and in fact, teachers have been working incredibly hard to support their communities during the lockdown period.

As well as continuing to teach the children of key workers and vulnerable children, including through school holidays, staff have been engaged in a variety of activities which stretch far beyond their normal roles, as our research in the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (HHCP) has shown.

Our mission in HHCP is to improve children’s lives through pedagogy; during this crisis, we have prioritised supporting parents at home (through campaigns such as our ‘Get children thinking’  project) and – the focus here – documenting the experiences of staff in schools and the early years sector. We have spoken to and surveyed leaders across the field of primary and early years education, gathering fascinating testimonies of the experiences of the (more…)

What should teachers be prepared for when young children return after lockdown: lessons from China and elsewhere

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 May 2020

Yuwei Xu and Clare Brooks. 

With the outbreak of COVID-19 globally, school closures and online education have become shared  experiences for children, teachers, and parents around the world. As China emerges from lockdown, schools are preparing for re-opening.

National guidelines, issued by the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Education, on COVID-19 prevention and control at all school levels, focus on medical suggestions, physical health and hygiene. However, teachers everywhere are concerned about the mental and social aspects of children’s returning to schools. In this blog, drawing on relevant research from China and elsewhere, we summarize some of the major considerations for young children’s post-COVID-19 psychological and social readiness. (more…)