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Ofsted report shows pupils benefit from workforce reforms

According to Ofsted research, school workforce reforms that have seen the introduction of staff from a wider range of backgrounds, skills and life experiences are benefiting pupils.

The development, training and development of the wider school workforce report reveals that learning mentors and higher level teaching assistants are among the roles that have made a positive impact on pupils’ achievement. This impact is more significant among those likely to underachieve, truant, or be excluded from school. Parents previously reluctant to come into school or who weren’t sure how to help their children are also benefiting.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, said: "This is the fourth Ofsted report which has considered the effectiveness of the school workforce reforms introduced in 2003. Previous reports showed increasing benefits for staff and schools as a result of the reforms. It is good to see that these changes are now beginning to impact on the learning, development and progress of children and young people."

Out of the 23 schools visited, 13 had experienced problems in communicating with parents and carers. Some of them were reluctant to talk to teachers and had negative experiences of education themselves. The research found some parents found it easier to relate to members of the wider workforce who often had a wide range of life experiences or lived in the local community.

However, the report found only six schools had a consistent cycle of induction and training, performance management and career development for staff that focused on cultivating the knowledge and skills required to raise pupils’ achievement. Ofsted claim that schools need to focus on improving quality and effectiveness of the training and development they provide to get the most benefit from this wider workforce.

Ms Gilbert added: "As this report has found, the wider workforce has an important role to play in improving children’s achievement, however all too often it was left to individual members of staff to identify and request professional development for themselves. It’s vital that schools invest time and money in evaluating and developing all their staff, not just teachers."

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