Priority year 4

We are partnering with targeted areas to share some of the best practise picked up over the course of the programme.


Literacy – Twinning with Portsmouth


Standards in both reading and writing at KS2 in Portsmouth have long been lagging behind the national average. They are also struggling when compared to their geographical neighbours, in spite of improving Ofsted judgements. It is felt that standards are unlikely to rise significantly without schools employing a rigorous approach to learning.

The programme

We have been working closely with Portsmouth City Council to implement aspects of the literacy strand programme, which have already seen an impact in driving improvements for disadvantaged children.

A total of £25k of funding was allocated to 10 Portsmouth schools to enable them to access the ‘Destination Reader’ programme, along with funding to one other school to access ‘Daily Supported Reader’.  Additionally, the funding allowed on-going support and contact with Hackney Learning Trust, where staff from the schools were able to be released from the classroom to ‘visit’ (face to face or virtual) their colleagues in other schools.

The project is targeted at Local Authority maintained schools, as well as those within Multi Academy Trusts, who tend to follow consistent, directed programmes for teaching and learning.

To date, all the schools involved have completed their training, acquired the appropriate resources and had their baseline data of children’s reading levels measured.


The Aim

The intervention is now being applied to a group of identified children, as they return to school, and it is hoped that the following outcomes will be achieved:


  • The % gap between Portsmouth and the national average for KS2 reading, narrows from 7% in 2019 to within +/- 2%;
  • All schools within the project are in line with, or are above, KS2 reading at the expected national average in 2021;
  • The % gap between pupils in Portsmouth on Pupil Premium, and those who pay for school meals, show an improvement in reading at the expected standard (from 13% in 2019 to within 5%);
  • Raised enjoyment and improved levels of confidence amongst teachers and pupils (especially those who are disadvantaged and have lower attainment).

Furture plans

Portsmouth Education Partnership has a Strategic Board, and an Early Language and Literacy Development Group, which oversee work on the development of ‘Improving pupil outcomes in literacy (reading, writing and oral)’, with a focus on early language. The partnership produces a weekly bulletin and has a dedicated website, which is used to share practice and develop collaboration. This can be used to promote the project and inspire other schools to consider adopting ‘Destination Reader’ with an evidence-based impact.

Involvement of both the Local Authority’s Head of School Improvement and Early Years, and the local Teaching School Alliance, will provide further opportunities for teachers to continue their professional development (CPD) and network with others across the Portsmouth Education partnership.

The programme is hoping to be embedded and sustained after the HOA funding. Yes its fine, I used it from their application form and interim report.


Recovery – Twinning with East Sussex


We are working with East Sussex County Council (ESCC)to support schools across the Countyaddress the ‘Closing the Gap’ agenda. We are providing additional funding for primary ad secondary schools across the County to enable themto address the challenges of Covid-19. We will be challenging and holding them to account for improving outcomes.

We are working with ESCCto ensure that best practice ia shared, and that the development of evidence-based programmes in schools are used to close the attainment gap, widened in many cases by the pandemic restrictions.

This strategy provides a framework for the commissioning and delivery of bespoke improvement plans, as all pupils and schools have different challenges to support improvements in learning for disadvantaged children.

Future plans

The most significant legacy we hope to pass on through this project is that schools are better-equipped, and more conscious of effectively identifying the needs of their disadvantaged students, and that they will continue to develop practical and effective, short and long term strategies, to effectively drive improvement, such as breakfast clubs, catch-up intervention, small group work, one to one sessions and motivational and wellbeing programmes.

We are continuing to fund a post-lockdown recovery programme for Hastings schools to address their pupil’s issues, in addition to the Government’s catch up funding. Sharing outcomes from this work, and our East Sussex Twinning programmes, is at the heart of the programme.


Inclusion – Twinning with East Sussex


The aim of our inclusion twinning programme, is to promote effective inclusive practice and shared working across all 8 secondary schools in East Sussex (Area 3), to significantly reduce fixed term and permanent exclusions.

The project will develop better school to school relationships and a greater sense of collaboration and transparency, to enable a better sharing of information and learning.

The programme

As part of the Twinning project, we have provided funding for the 4 of the 5 secondary schools in Rother. The schoolsare using the funding to develop their inclusive provision for pupils at risk of exclusion.

Roberstbridge Community College aim to run a series of workshops and on-site sessions utilising their Living Garden. These will include all year groups taking part in  self-esteem sessions, managing anxiety with mindfulness, meditation and yoga and anger management and the reduction of risky behaviour.

They will also be focusing on positive body esteem through fitness for girls, reducing risky behaviour for girls (years 10 & 11) and reducing risky behaviour and improving mental health amongst boys (years 9 to 11) through fitness.

St Richards have identified a key concern around unstructured school times – when behaviours that lead to fixed term exclusions tends to occur. They are creating additional spaces to allow pupils to be able to feel safe or for pupils to re- regulate/self-regulate during times of stress and difficulty. They will provide a programme of activities such as sensory circuits, exercise classes, games clubs and social skills clubs during lunch breaks to help young people who are struggling with the unstructured times. They also plan to develop a bespoke programme around self-esteem projects for pupils who are at risk of permanent exclusion.

Claverham Community College are going to be recruiting an external professional from Education Futures Trust to work with identified boys at risk of exclusion. Students have been identified using the behaviour data, and as a result, mentoring in group work and one to one sessions, will be put in place. They are also using their funding for professional learning and staff development to help them understand the risk factors around wellbeing and to help pupils develop the resilience to overcome adverse circumstances.

Rye College will be providing school-based external intervention (Action your potential), to work with 40 of their most high profile ‘at risk’ students in Years 10 and 11. They will work directly with families to build resilience and engagement with education. They will also seek to improve their engagement of online learning.

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