Popular NFER blog posts of 2017

By Sundip Gill

Thursday 21 December 2017

From the shock general election to the long-awaited careers strategy, what a year 2017 has been in the world of education. Throughout this year, we have tackled some of the hottest topics in education here on the NFER blog. Our researchers have also been delving into data produced by the Department for Education (DfE), in a series of blog posts focusing on Statistical First Releases. We will have more of these in 2018. You can subscribe to our blog (top right) to get notifications of all new posts direct to your inbox.

So in this final post of the year, here are some of the most popular NFER blog posts of 2017:

Phonics results – Now that’s good news for young readers

In this post published in September, NFER’s Jane Nicholas took a closer look at the Government’s recent statistical first release on the phonics screening check, in particular how the achievement rates have changed across the country since its introduction.

Changing the subject? How EBacc is changing school timetables

School workforce and teacher retention are high on the current education policy agenda and are the subject of on-going NFER research. In June, following Justine Greening’s announcement that the 90% English Baccalaureate (EBacc) target has been pushed back 5 years, we looked at how the EBacc is changing school timetables.

Retaining teachers in Wales – what do we know?

In this post published in March, NFER’s Jack Worth and Jennifer Garry discussed statistics relating to teacher recruitment and retention in Wales.

More teachers are joining than leaving the profession, but will it be enough to meet demand?

Another post in this hot topic area, NFER’s Sarah Lynch and Jack Worth reviewed the current state of the teacher labour market using the latest statistics from the 2016 School Workforce Census published in June.

What’s happening to reading under the new Key Stage 2 curriculum and assessment regime?

Back in August, NFER researchers Jennie Harland and Claire Hodgson discussed the provisional national curriculum assessment results for KS2, focusing on reading moving from its position as the subject with the highest performance under the old curriculum and assessment regime to the lowest under the new one.

All singing from the same hymn sheet: a new approach to assessment

Published in March, this blog post shared a new free-to-use resource, jointly developed by NFER, ASCL and SSAT to support schools in developing their own approach to assessment.

Schools that work for everyone: Tackling disadvantage

Joana Andrade’s third post on schools that work for everyone, published in January, explored the term ‘disadvantage’.

‘When I saw the opportunity to take the prime minister to task over grammar schools, I had to take it’

Part of our Election 2017 series, read what happened when Head of Impact Karen Wespieser challenged the Prime Minister about grammar schools at a Duck Day fete (no, really). This post first appeared in TES back in May.

Income and expenditure in academies: new data raises more questions than answers

In this post, researcher Claire Easton took a closer look at July’s DfE statistics on income and expenditure in academies.

Are secondary schools making enough progress in closing the attainment gap?

Back in January, Research Director Caroline Sharp blogged about how secondary schools have a long way to go in closing the attainment gap in state-funded schools.