Friday insights round-up (18 Jan)

18 January 2019

Caitlin spent Saturday at our project partner The Difference’s first ever IncludEd conference. So, naturally in this week’s Friday insights round-up she’s been thinking a lot about exclusions and their impact. School exclusions is one of our Big Change outcome areas in which we fund pioneering solutions.

There’s also some exciting news and research that continues to highlight how crucial it is to back innovators working in early years, which is another Big Change outcome area we’re focusing on.

Tips for reducing exclusions

Former Schools Commissioner for London, Sir Tim Brighouse (who ran the London Challenge and was a keynote speaker at IncludEd) published this insightful piece on how to minimise exclusions.

His advice includes positive conversations with vulnerable pupils, celebrating non-academic achievements, engaging students in community service in and out of schools instead of excluding them, and shifting the line of questioning from “how intelligent is this pupil?” to “how is this pupil intelligent?”.

This article highlights the importance of the work being done by our project partner The Difference, who officially launched their pilot program for teachers at the IncludEd conference on Saturday. While The Difference has made sure that we are having important conversations about the harm done by the practice of exclusion, we still have a long way to go: Ofsted continues to give high marks to schools with high exclusion rates, and inner London children are excluded at almost double the national rate.

We look forward to supporting more programmes like The Difference to make education a more inclusive system.

Early years recognition

This was also a big week for our project partner EasyPeasy, who were nominated for the Bett Awards in the Early Years Content category. We wish them the best of luck at the awards ceremony next week, and regardless of the outcome, we’re thrilled that they are being recognised for their fantastic work in supporting learning through play.

The crucial early years work being done by project partners EasyPeasy and Voice Bradford is especially important in the context of the new research recently released by Nuffield Health, which reveals that parents who read with their pre-school aged children give them a language advantage of 8 months.

Our project partners working in oracy (Voice 21, The Communications Trust and Voice Bradford) have already shown us how crucial language and oracy are for more equitable outcomes in education and in life, so this advantage is significant.