- 1 Keeping in Touch (KIT) with SIPs: May 2008
- 2 Changes to your newsletter
- 3 Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD)
- 4 The Primary Improving Schools Programme (ISP)
- 5 Good Progress booklets at Key Stage 3
- 6 Assessing Pupils' Progress (APP)
- 7 Renewed Secondary Frameworks: online, flexible support for teachers' planning
- 8 Continuation of the SIPs' accreditation programme
Introduction: Adrian Percival, National Director School Improvement
April 2008 marks a momentous stage in the ongoing development of the National School Improvement Partner programme. For the first time, all primary, secondary and special schools have a SIP. In many ways this is the end point of the implementation of the programme and all the hard work of local authorities (LAs) in setting up the systems for SIPs (and the hard work of SIPs themselves in becoming accredited and, for many, learning a new trade). However, in many respects this moment is the beginning of implementation as the focus moves away from getting everything in place to really making it work.
Secondary SIPs will by now be aware of the Prime Minister’s announcement in October last year, followed up by announcements in the budget, of the target to have no schools performing below 30% 5+ A*–C including English and mathematics by 2011. SIPs working with such schools will, I am sure, realise that this is a serious commitment from the government and so should be focusing on improvement in English and mathematics in their discussions with headteachers and their LAs.
We have, of course, become familiar over the last two years with the emphasis upon the 5+ A*–C including English and mathematics performance indicator. One of the consequences of this focus is that the Contextual Value Added (CVA) measure, which does not place particular emphasis upon these two subjects, can cloud the issue of a school’s performance. There are a good number of schools currently performing below the floor target with high proportions of pupils gaining 5+ A*–C without English and mathematics. Typically these schools perform very well on the CVA measure and against Fischer Family Trust (FFT) benchmarks. While this is commendable, it is important, in helping the school evaluate itself, to ensure that due weight is placed upon the importance of English and mathematics.