Closing the Gap: Test and Learn

We are involved in a national Closing the Gap: Test and Learn research project led by the National College of Teaching and Leadership. The ambitious project seeks to implement and test the effectiveness of seven prescribed intervention methods to close gaps in attainment, primarily focusing on vulnerable groups such as SEN pupils and those in receipt of pupil premium funding.

CUREE, CfBT and Durham University have been involved in the design of the research. The 740 trial site schools involved are testing the interventions over a defined period of time with targeted pupils, while control groups in other schools continue with regular best practice. Diagnostic testing before and after the research trails will provide the National College with evidence of impact and the relative effect sizes of the various interventions. 

Two of the schools in the CASSA Alliance, Linton Village College and Sawston Village College, are involved in a small pilot group developing protocol and practice in the implementation of Research Lesson Study as an intervention model. The approach has been adopted from effective professional development practice which originated in Japan. Lesson Study involves small groups of teachers collaboratively planning and evaluating lessons with targeted pupils in mind. The intense focus and support that arises from this collaborative pedagogical model has been shown to increase the quality of teaching practice and enhance the outcomes of all pupils, in particular the targeted groups. 

Initial testing and training will take place this term in both schools. The intervention will then be delivered, disseminated and evaluated in the following two terms. This is an exciting opportunity for colleagues to engage in high-quality action research to enhance their own professional practice and to secure good progress for all groups of pupils. Further information about the research can be found on the Department for Education’s website

We hosted a successful free event based around this research in July 2014 at Sawston Village College. Please click here for further details of the event.


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