Setting and streaming in schools - our comment on initial findings from EEF trial

Here's the comment of our Chief Executive, Sir Kevan Collins, on today's article in the TES, 'Schools are harming low-ability pupils' chances by teaching in sets, academics say', which reports some of the initial findings of an EEF trial led by Prof. Becky Francis. 

“The evidence shows that while setting pupils by attainment may produce some benefits for higher attaining pupils, it can hold-back low-attaining learners by damaging their confidence and engagement with lessons. The EEF trial, led by Prof. Becky Francis, is trying to find if those benefits for high attainers can be achieved without harming low attainers. Schools are right to ensure that their pupils are appropriately stretched but it is important that schools and teachers focus on the evidence. If they continue to group pupils by ability, they must monitor carefully the impact that it has on all their pupils. Good teachers can stretch and support pupils in one class who are years apart in their academic development.”

You can read more about the trial Best Practice in Grouping Students here. The findings reported in the TES focus on the engagement of schools in the project. The independent evaluation report, looking at the impact of the project, will be published in summer 2018.

You can read the summary of the evidence on setting and streaming in our Teaching and Learning Toolkit here: