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Achievement for All (AfA): Background

Achievement for All (AfA) was announced by the DCSF in the Children's Plan Progress Report in December 2008. It stated:

Pupils with SEN and disabled children make the best progress in schools where there is a strong ethos that all pupils should make good progress academically as well as in their personal and social development.

There are many schools where effective practice results in good progress for this group of learners. However, evidence shows that there are still too many children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who:

  • are not achieving as well as their peers
  • are more likely to suffer from bullying
  • have fewer friendships.

Too many are leaving education without the skills and qualifications needed to become independent adults. The recent Lamb Enquiry into the confidence of parents and children with SEND shows that dialogue between home and school relating to expectations, progress and outcomes is often limited.

The commitment to ensuring every child enjoys their childhood, achieves their full potential and develops the knowledge, skills and qualifications for success in adult life is highlighted in the 21st century schools White Paper. Through the Children's Plan, the DCSF has committed £31 million to develop the AfA pilot project to showcase how schools can work together with children with SEND and their parents to ensure they achieve their full potential. The focus on improving progress for groups of vulnerable learners, including those with SEND, is reflected within the revised Ofsted framework (September 2009).

AfA builds on the success of Making Good Progress which includes a strong focus on Quality First Teaching and Assessment for Learning (AfL).