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The journey towards education recovery

Published: Jun 2, 2021 4 min read

Wayne Jarvis

Senior Network Educational Lead

National STEM Learning Centre

The journey towards education recovery incorporates a tiered approach comprising three pillars; high quality teaching, targeted support and wider school strategies, which we at STEM Learning, fully endorse.

The EEF’s Guide to supporting school planning adopts strategies proven to support students that have fallen behind with their education. It builds specifically on their previous publication, Guide to Pupil Premium.

The most impactful way to support students is through high quality teaching. Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of both the Sutton Trust and the EEF, stated that “The strongest evidence for accelerating learning is for increasing time for high-quality teaching”. This has been further emphasised by Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, who has stressed that there is a need to put teachers at the heart of any recovery plan, acknowledging that there is no substitute for high-quality teaching to support pupils.

Our Education Recovery webpages support teachers with signposting to resources and professional development around the seven pillars of what we consider to be high quality teaching. The idea is that teachers are able to pick the area of support and development that is most relevant to their needs. The Education Policy Institute highlights the important role professional development can play. An entitlement to high-quality CPD for all teachers would not only improve pupils’ progress by up to one GCSE level, but also may improve teachers’ wellbeing and encourage them to remain in the profession.

Our professional development is designed to meet the Department for Education’s Standard for teachers’ professional development by supporting teachers to assess and evaluate the impact of the CPD on pupils, embedding courses with the latest research and evidence, training and accrediting our facilitators through our CPD Quality Mark, prolonging engagement with CPD over time and providing the tools for teachers to evidence their impact of the CPD with their line managers and senior leaders.

A further £1.4bn has been announced to add to the £1.7bn already invested in education since the pandemic began. A large proportion of the latest funding is targeted specifically at the National Tutoring Programme. This is the main focus of the second pillar of targeted academic support. We have a number of resources specifically aimed at supporting tutoring including courses to support new tutors in science and maths. In addition to tutoring, this pillar also suggests extending the school day, a decision on this is expected later in the year, however, the opportunity for some year 13s to be able to get funding to repeat their final year has already been announced.

Finally, the wider school strategy pillar, centred around supporting parents and carers with resources to enable learning to take place at home is important. There is a place for STEM based subjects to support the development of literacy, one of the areas of learning most significantly impacted by school closures. We have resources to support teaching science through stories on our website. Another aspect of this pillar is the support of summer learning through summer programmes of support (both in terms of subject content but importantly on the wellbeing, in particular for the most disadvantaged). We can support with schools planning high quality summer provision for students through our teacher CPD on summer schools, our STEM Ambassador programme and our student facing summer school support.

We will be organising our support around these three pillars, with monthly themes to help break down the steps to education recovery. The first month looks at how curriculum design feeds into high quality teaching, how STEM Clubs can support the delivery of a broad and rich curriculum, and how our STEM Ambassador programme helps put schools and colleges at the centre of communities.