Whole School Approach: Achievement for All

Professor Sonia Blandford | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Areas for further research


The DFE evaluation of AFA found that changes in outcomes varied as a function of a variety of factors at pupil level. Our quantitative analyses demonstrated that, generally speaking, pupils with stronger positive relationships, who attended school more regularly, and with higher levels of academic achievement at the beginning of 5 the AfA pilot experienced better outcomes. Pupils at more complex Special Educational Needs as recognised by the school generally experienced less improvement when compared to others, as did pupils eligible for Free School Meals.

From a multi level analysis the evaluation found that schools characterised by higher attendance and achievement, stronger home-school relations prior to the start of AfA, and smaller pupil populations tended to achieve better outcomes. Conversely, schools with larger proportions of pupils eligible for Free School Meals (FSM), speaking English as an Additional Language (EAL), or at the latter stages of SEND provision, e.g. School Action Plus (SA+), Statements of Special Educational Needs (SSEN), made progress, but not of the same magnitude. 

This suggests that further research needs to be undertaken or taken into account in addressing schools that are experiencing considerble difficulties is meeting the needs of their pupils experiencing significant difficulties in learning in school or socio economic deprivation at home and in their communities.

Possible sources of evidence have been suggested in relation to the four aspects of the AFA intervention model:

Inclusive Leadership
Kugelmas, J.G (2003) Inclusive Leadership; Leadership for Inclusion New York National College for School Leadership

Literacy Interventions
Brook’s G. (2013) 4th ed.) What works for Children and young people with literacy difficulties: the effectiveness of intervention schemes, The Dyslexia SpLD Trust

Parent Engagement
Goodall, J., Vorhaus, J. et al. (2011) Review of Best Practice in Parental Engagement , Nottingham, DfE

Aspiration in education
Gorard, S., Huat See, B., and Davies, P. (2012) The impact of attitudes and aspirations on educational attainment and participation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services (2010) Effective classroom strategies for closing the gap in educational achievement for children and young people living in poverty, including white working-class boysC4EO :University of York