Achievement for All is a whole-school approach to school improvement, which has had demonstrable success in improving rates of progress for pupils with SEN and disabled pupils (SEND) in English and maths.

Achievement for All is focused on improving the attainment and wider outcomes of all children and young people and particularly the 20 per cent of the school population identified as disabled or with special educational needs.

The Department for Education has awarded a contract to roll out Achievement for All to a consortium of school leaders, Achievement for All (3As), supported by the business expertise of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. All schools who want it will now be able to access Achievement for All support.

The Achievement for All pilot

The Department funded a two-year Achievement for All pilot, from 2009-2011, involving 450 primary, secondary, mainstream and special schools in 10 local authorities.

The approach was developed following Brian Lamb’s 2009 Inquiry into parental confidence in the SEN system which recommended that support for children with SEN and disabilities should focus on improving outcomes and not just processes.

Key features of the programme included:

  • rigorous tracking of children’s progress in English and mathematics with intervention when pupils fall behind;
  • a termly structured conversation on educational outcomes between the teacher that knows the pupil best and the parent; and
  • a common sense approach to addressing what is getting in the way of learning, such as bullying, persistent absence or poor social skills.

These approaches were led and championed at senior leadership and headteacher level.

Key successes

The pilot has had considerable success in accelerating the progress of all vulnerable pupils across the full spectrum of SEN or disabilities.

The independent evaluation by the University of Manchester highlighted that:

  • The programme had a significant impact on pupil progress in English and mathematics for pupils with SEN. Achievement for All pupils in some cohorts made significantly greater progress than those both with and without SEND nationally;
  • Schools liked using the Achievement for All framework as it provides a broad structure but allows headteachers to adapt it to fit their needs and priorities;
  • There were dramatic improvements in attendance and a significant decrease to persistent absenteeism;
  • Schools reported significant improvement in pupils’ behaviour as a result of the programme, along with reductions in bullying;
  • There was improved parental engagement in their child’s learning.

How can I get involved?

All schools who want it can now get Achievement for All support to strengthen their provision for vulnerable children.

A consortium of Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and a group of school leaders, Achievement for All (3As) has been awarded the contract to roll out the Achievement for All programme.

Schools can now buy into Achievement for All training, which includes support from a trained school leader adapted to meet each school’s context and priorities. Information on how to get involved is available on the Achievement for All website.