Annual Survey of Trends in Education 2007: Schools' concerns and their implications for local authorities

Peter Rudd, Tamsin Chamberlain, Anna Riggall, Kerensa Gagg, Karen Lewis

10 January 2008

The NFER’s Annual Survey of Trends in Education provides useful insights into headteachers’ views on a range of current educational issues. Headteachers from around 350 primary and 850 secondary schools took part in this year’s survey and the findings have been published as a series of short topic-related papers. The following is a small selection of this year’s key findings:

  • Main areas of concern: budgets remained the main concern in primary schools in 2007, although the level of concern was lower than in 2006. In secondary schools, staffing issues had overtaken budgets to become the main area of concern in 2007
  • Budgetary issues: more than 80 per cent of primary and secondary schools were in favour of the three-year cycle of funding for schools, to help improve medium- and long-term planning.
  • The Every Child Matters agenda: there was a marked growth (from 2006) in partnership involvement and information sharing by schools in specific partnership aspects of the ECM agenda, especially by secondary schools, but there was still a small proportion of schools that reported no involvement.
  • Youth provision: nearly half of secondary schools did not feel sufficiently well informed about the youth provision on offer within their school locality.
  • Children in care: in line with last year’s findings, there remains a proportion of schools that still do not have sufficient policies in place for supporting children in care.
  • School improvement: schools where School Improvement Partners had been appointed were generally positive about their contribution to school improvement.
  • Parental involvement: the majority of schools were using various strategies to encourage the involvement of parents in school life, with an increase (from 2006) in the proportion using their school website.