On 27th March 2014 the Department for Education announced a new accountability system that will help ensure all children are literate and numerate [read it here].
In a nutshell, the policy aims to raise education standards across the board for children aged 4 to 19. Schools and colleges will be held accountable for individual students and they will need to ensure that every single child has the reading, writing and mathematical skills needed to head out into the big wide world. Be that into further education or the workplace.
At each stage in a child’s learning journey there will be new, fairer, system in place to measure performance.
The policy will ensure that at the end of Primary education, all children will be in the position to start secondary school able to read well, write well and have a solid grounding in maths.
The focus in Secondary education shifts slightly with ‘progress’ being the key performance indicator. Pupils are targeted to leave Secondary education with a good set of qualifications in subjects that are most valued by employers and Universities.
At College and Sixth Form level, institutions are expected to stretch their pupils to ensure they are fully equipped to enter the workplace or continue their studies in Further Education.
The Schools Minister David Laws says the new policy will mean “higher standards” across the board whilst giving under performing schools “no place to hide”.
There has been positive feedback from organisations including the NAHT, the ASCL and CentreForum and Educational Institutions appear both supportive and welcoming of the changes.
From a LEGO Education perspective, we talk to teachers every single day. We understand children and how their minds work. We have spent the last 30 years working with schools to help teachers take a more progressive approach to teaching and unlock students’ interests in learning.
Our way of thinking works hand in hand with the new DfE policy.
We have got to ensure that children are fully engaged in learning to get the best out of them. A playful, creative, hands-on approach does engage students of all abilities and it really does achieve results. We have evidenced that.
This DfE policy aims to ultimately build a stronger economy and fairer society, but we need to make sure our teachers are fully equipped with the tools they need to enable them to excel in not only literacy and numeracy, but Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths also.
The looming skills shortage in STEM subjects will harm the UK’s competitiveness and productivity unless it is addressed.
The fact remains that tomorrow’s workforce is sitting in our classrooms today. We want to build something that transforms these classrooms into places for creative and successful learning. We want to encourage and inspire students by bringing these subjects to life and ultimately, we want to help make the teachers’ life easier to relieve the stress and the pressure of any future policy changes.
Last year we commissioned a pilot study into the attitudes, beliefs and practices of teachers in UK schools. It provided us with a valuable snapshot of how teachers feel about the challenges they face today. You can download that report at our website.