Differentiation in the ITT core content framework



120-cellThis short post anticipates the coverage of top-end differentiation in the imminent framework of core content for initial teacher training (ITT).



The Carter review of initial teacher training (ITT) (January 2015) dates from the last months of the Coalition Government. The first recommendation is that DfE should commission a sector body to develop a framework of core content for ITT.

Carter stresses that this should be undertaken outside of central government and proposes that the framework should be informed by the areas for improvement it highlights. One of these is differentiation.

The Government Response to the Carter Review (January 2015) endorsed the recommendation to develop a framework. The government would commission an ‘independent working group made of expert representatives from the sector’ to report back to the Secretary of State.

In March 2015 a press release announced that a group had been commissioned to undertake the task…

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Education Excellence Everywhere for the most able



This brief post offers a preliminary assessment of provision for the most able in the 2016 schools white paper.



There was a little-noticed commitment in the Conservative Election Manifesto:

‘We will make sure that all students are pushed to achieve their potential and create more opportunities to stretch the most able.’

The statement was repeated in DfE’s Single departmental plan: 2015 to 2020, so further elucidation was expected in the white paper.

Education Excellence Everywhere’ was published on 17 March 2016, together with a ‘DfE Strategy 2015-2020: World class education and care’ and an impact assessment.

The strategy document says that the Department will:

  • Engage with stakeholders throughout the Parliament to develop the detailed policies that underpin the priorities
  • Set out more detail on each strand over the coming months

It identifies 12 strategic priorities, the fifth being:

‘Embed rigorous…

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Will the national funding formula support ‘excellence for all’?



Rotating_gimbal-xyzThis post explores tensions between the ‘excellence for all’ objective now underpinning national education policy and the proposed design of the national funding formula for schools.

It is framed as an exploratory discussion document. If a convincing counter-argument emerges I am ready to adjust my views.


Setting the scene

Doing Differentiation Differently?’ mentioned in passing a shift in national policy and rhetoric, from ‘no child left behind’ to a substantively different ‘excellence for all’ position.

‘No child left behind’ was a hangover from the Coalition government which briefly survived the change of administration, whereas ‘excellence for all’ – aka ‘education excellence everywhere’ – deliberately puts clear blue water between this administration and its predecessor.

It is identified as one of three core objectives in the DfE’s Single departmental plan: 2015 to 2020:

‘Educational excellence everywhere: every child and young person can access high-quality provision, achieving…

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