Link to updated information on literacy and numeracy catch up strategies issued today, 14 November, by the DfE

DfE guidance on literacy and numeracy catch up strategies has been revised (from 2012) and published today.

This guidance incorporates findings from recent research:


New research has been published by Coventry University and the University of Warwick on literacy difficulties and undiagnosed hearing impairment, (

Glue ear or mild/moderate hearing loss can have a major impact. All professionals need to be alert to the signs of hearing loss, particularly in children whose deafness was not identified at birth or who have acquired deafness during childhood, and that any parental or professional concerns about hearing are always taken seriously and acted on.

Resources from the National Deaf Children’s Society for parents and professionals may be helpful and can be found at and

Heather Murdoch, one of the NatSIP workstream leads, is currently developing a toolkit linked to the Victoria MSI Unit Curriculum, for publication on the NatSIP website.

The toolkit will contain materials to support delivery of the curriculum and use of the linked assessment profiles, including:

  • discussion of the issues for planning, recording and evaluating progress using the Victoria Curriculum
  • sample templates for target-setting, identifying student needs and teaching strategies, planning and recording progress
  • case studies and ‘worked examples’ of the templates

The materials have been trialed and revised at Victoria, and Heather is now seeking feedback from other professionals in order to make them as useful as possible in other settings. A broader perspective really does make a difference, and she would very much appreciate your help.

If you use the Victoria Curriculum and would be willing to comment on the draft toolkit, please get in touch:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The draft materials, together with a comments form, will be sent out at the end of October 2017, and feedback will need to be returned by the end of November 2017.

Qfqual has updated its briefing papers on the reforms to GCSE and A levels


The NatSIP report Examination acesss for children and young people was launched at the NatSIP Working Day on 11 February 2016, and updated on 8 April 2016, is now avilable for download pdf here.

There have been several updates to the GCSE and A level reforms published 15th December 2015 which may be of interest:

1.   Link to a helpful summary of the GCSE and A level reforms:

2.Link to the timetable for making changes. The timetable has been updated to reflect latest decisions on subjects to be reformed for first teaching in September 2017:

3. Link to assessment objectives. Updated today to reflect revised objectives for some subjects:

On 12th February 2015, the Department for Education announced that it has published revised content for GCSEs in citizenship studies, drama, food preparation and nutrition and religious studies and A levels in drama and theatre and religious studies. As announced in April 2014, these GCSEs and A levels will be first taught from 2016. In common with all reformed GCSEs and A levels, they will be high-quality, demanding and academically rigorous qualifications which better prepare students for the demands of further education and future employment.

The following documents have been published on

  • The new GCSE content for citizenship studies, drama, food preparation and nutrition and religious studies
  • The new AS and A level content for drama and theatre and religious studies
  • The Government’s joint response to both the consultation on citizenship studies, drama and food preparation and nutrition and the consultation on religious studies.
  • Assessment of the equalities impact of new subject content for citizenship studies, drama and food preparation and nutrition and a similar assessment of the equalities impactof new subject content for religious studies.

Ofqual is also confirming its decisions on how these new GCSEs and A levels should be assessed, including the proportion of non-exam assessment and the assessment objectives for each subject. Ofqual’s decisions for citizenship studies, drama and food preparation and nutritioncan be found on its website. Ofqual will publish finalised assessment objectives for religious studies in March.