Programme to boost attainment in schools continued for a second phase

The pilot phase of the project showed the use of collaborative working, mentoring of partner schools and the sharing of innovative practices had a positive impact on improving the educational experiences for learners facing disadvantage.

Schools engaged in the pilot reported improvement through high quality leadership and development of Teaching and Learning, increased confidence within leadership teams and the strategies were addressing the impact of poverty on attainment.

Phase two will commence in September and will see additional partner schools recruited. During the second phase each Attainment Champion will be paired with additional partner schools to provide greater opportunity for learning and developing knowledge and best practice.

Providing peer-to-peer support to schools and helping to inform Welsh Government policy around educational attainment, the Attainment Champions were appointed based on their progress in addressing the impact of poverty on educational attainment in their schools.

The expansion of the work of the Attainment Champions will also contribute to the work of the School Improvement Partnership Programme, which will build upon peer networks and local collaboration to improve school standards.  

Earlier this month the Cabinet Secretary for Education met with Attainment Champions to hear first-hand how the programme was helping improve educational attainment, what approaches were making the biggest difference and to discover what the main barriers to improving attainment were.

Cabinet Secretary for Education, Lynne Neagle said:

Sustained improvements in educational attainment are a top priority for the Welsh Government and this is an excellent example of our commitment to tackling the impact of poverty on educational attainment. By bringing together leaders and schools across Wales we can collectively work in partnership to tackle the impact of poverty on our young people and improving outcomes for all children and young people in Wales.

We are focused on continuous improvement in our schools.  Attainment Champions, alongside a focus on the vital skills of literacy and numeracy, and the curriculum for Wales, will help raise standards and aspirations. I want to thank all our Champions for the contributions they have made so far, and I very much look forward to working together over the next year to build on the positive findings from the pilot programme.

Innes Robinson, Attainment Champion, and Executive Head of Pencoedtre and Whitmore said:

It was an invaluable opportunity to share evidenced based practice that has the potential reduce the attainment gap. Whitmore High School and Ysgol Bryn Alyn worked closely to implement a direct teaching approach and mixed ability teaching that has proven to have a positive effect on closing the gap. Both schools look forward to the opportunity to extend the programme.