Sue Riley, NACE CEO

From all the NACE team – a very happy new year!

Whilst you settle back into the term I want to use my first blog of 2018 to share news of NACE developments and details of upcoming member opportunities. Brief updates on DfE, Ofsted and Estyn are also included.

Member-led research

At the end of last year NACE announced a key focus on member-led research and development for 2018, and I am pleased to update you on two aspects of this. First, we have selected three schools to become NACE Research and Development Hubs – Haybridge High School and Sixth Form, Portswood Primary School and Barry Island Primary School. These schools will allow us to test and refine our regional approach to improving outcomes for more able learners in practical ways, including hosting Hub meetings for NACE members, sharing resources and best practice, and undertaking research.

Alongside the Hubs initiative we will be working with the University of Winchester on an action research project. The project, which launches in March, will be open to invited Challenge Award schools, with teachers exploring an aspect of “curriculum, teaching and support" for more able learners that is being delivered or developed in their school under the NACE Challenge Development Programme. Alongside more detailed case study work, we will continue to build our evidence base and formally capture and disseminate some of the best practice in the country.

Free webinars and member meetups 

To provide all members with a good start to the year, NACE is continuing its series of free webinars and member meetups. Webinar sessions on SOLO Taxonomy and learning mindset will take place on 30 January and 6 February – log in to the members’ area of our website for full details and registration.

Following the success of our first member meetup in November, the series continues this term with the English-Speaking Union hosting a secondary school event on 6 March. The Globe will host our final meetup of the year on 8 June, for both primary and secondary schools. Full details of these free events will be shared with all members via email and in the members’ area of our website. (To update your contact details or request a reminder of your login details, complete this form).

Funding and research updates

Members will be aware that governments in England and Wales are placing an increased focus on more able. I spoke about developments in Wales in my last blog.

You may be interested to read Estyn’s latest thematic reports. Good Practice in the Humanities highlights, amongst other things, the importance of transition for learners, whilst Active and experiential learning – Effective foundation phase practice in delivering literacy and numeracy in Year 1 and Year 2 includes an online video to exemplify good practice, and includes specific references of support provided to more able learners.
In December the DfE launched Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential, its plan for improving social mobility through education. Within this it announced the Future Talent Fund, which will seek to test and evaluate approaches to supporting the most academically able disadvantaged students in non-selective state-funded secondary schools. Bidding for this fund is expected to open in the summer term, and NACE will be seeking member schools to work with us on this. Further detail will follow.

We also wait with interest to read the final report of Ofsted’s curriculum thematic review

2018 promises to be interesting – and I look forward to sharing developments and working with you as we move through the year. In the meantime, please contact me directly if you want to learn more, or feel you can contribute to our developments.

Sue RileyThe CEO of the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE), Sue Riley has 20 years’ experience in the education and charity fields, having worked on a range of programmes designed to raise confidence and aspirations for young people. To find out more about upcoming projects at NACE and opportunities to get involved, contact Sue via the NACE national office.
Monday, January 15, 2018