Ofsted Annual Report 2016 – regional inequalities explained

Sir Michael Wilshaw has delivered his last Annual Report. More details of the contents of the report can be seen here and here. 

Comment from Professor Samantha Twiselton, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education:

“Today’s Annual Report for OFSTED very much confirms some of our own work here at the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University and also the steps we are taking to develop a regional response to the problems identified.

In particular the evidence that secondary recruitment is getting worse and that it is even more difficult in some regions and subjects resonates with the data for the Yorkshire and Humber region. We know that there are some subjects where as few as 50% of the teachers have a degree that matches it and we also know that the number of teachers considering leaving, combined with those who leave before retirement age is on the rise. When this is combined with evidence that shows that teachers usually take the first five years  at least to become really effective (Kraft, M. A., & Papay, J. P. 2014) this creates an unstable and in experienced workforce – something associated with schools that underperform.

Because of these problems all the ITE  (Initial Teacher Education) providers in Sheffield City Region and their school partners are planning to combine forces to create a joined up ITE and Early Career Support offer that will maximise the recruitment, training and retention of the best teachers and ensure that a strategic approach is taken to ensure they are provided into the places and subjects that need them most and that they are supported in their first job in a way that will help them to thrive and remain in the profession.”

Comment from Sean Cavan, Head of Business Engagement, Sheffield Institute of Education: 

“The HMCI’s report highlighted improvements achieved across the country but crucially for young people in the north and midlands there is a geographical dividing line in secondary school experience. This means that the capacity to challenge inequality for individuals, families and communities is not equally distributed.

Addressing this requires national strategies supporting the collective efforts mobilised by local education professionals and their organisations. The new infrastructures of schools’ groups, HEIs and others can create locally designed and delivered solutions that address identified problems such as teacher supply and retention and leadership capacity.

This should be encouraged with the broad education community taking a lead in promoting community cohesion, aspiration and above all young people’s attainment in the places that they serve.”

Comment from Tanya Ovenden-Hope, Director of Education, The Cornwall College Group, and Visiting Research Fellow, Plymouth University who in her report attached focuses on school isolation and attainment:

“There is also considerable evidence that it is schools in isolated and deprived areas where educational standards are low that are losing out in the recruitment stakes for both leaders and teachers.”

Further details can be found in the attached report by Tanya Ovenden-Hope. Isolated Schools Tanya Ovenden-Hope December 2016

Notes to journalists: 

Sources for Samantha Twiselton’s comment – Kraft, M. A., & Papay, J. P. (2014). Can professional environments in schools promote teacher development? Explaining heterogeneity in returns to teaching experience.  Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(4), 476-500.

Attached is a document entitled ‘Partnerships for Attainment’ about improving attainment in the Sheffield area. Partnerships for Attainment Proposal

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