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SPARK Diverse Ethnic Achievement Network Meeting

Event/course Code EDU 21/668
Event/course type Network event
Event Introduction The Diverse Ethnic Achievement Network meeting is an opportunity for EAL, Racial Equity and inclusion leads to meet, share ideas and good practice about the best ways to teach our pupils of diverse heritage, many of whom also have English as an Additional Language. The network ensures that we keep up to date with current issues regarding national and local guidance and initiatives.

Each session includes a main focus on how we can ensure that these pupils’ needs are at the centre of schools’ planning and focus, to ensure that they make good progress and attain high standards. We then have a focus on achievement of a particular group of pupils where there are concerns about inequalities and underachievement. Racial Equity, “catch up”, parental engagement and supporting pupils at Code A and B of proficiency in English are key areas we are focusing on at the moment.

The networks are open to all teachers and teaching assistants, depending on their role, the needs of their class and the focus of the sessions. This is an excellent opportunity for schools to ensure that the practice of staff is built up and improved.

In the meetings, speakers are often invited to give presentations and answer questions. They are often from local schools, sharing projects and initiatives that have worked well for them. The sessions are interactive, enabling practitioners to reflect on their current practice and develop their expertise to ensure educational outcomes for pupils and their families. Guidance discussed in the groups is collated along with resources and shared electronically.

Meetings take place once a term, at 4 till 5.30pm. Whilst we are meeting online, the meeting will be a joint session for both Kingston and Richmond schools.

Please note: This network is only open to schools that subscribe to the Premium SPARK or network only package.

Please be advised that this event will take place virtually. Joining instructions will be emailed to confirmed bookings 24 hours before the session.
Event Content With more EAL pupils being born or arriving in some areas in our boroughs, we are working to ensure that we maintain and develop our expertise in teaching these pupils. Hutchinson (Bell Foundation, 2018) highlights the heterogeneity of this group, and stresses the needs of young people who arrive new, and/or who face significant inequalities with regard to their education, particularly those who arrive later in key stages including refugee young people in key stage 4.

Recommendations include the need to generate and maintain expertise in EAL pupils’ learning in schools, as well as focusing on monitoring fluency and considering effective ways of using EAL funding. These aspects are all covered in our meetings.

Furthermore, Strand and Lindorff’s (2020) recent research into Proficiency in English (PiE) codes demonstrates that it is pupils at code C who are most likely to narrowly miss key government attainment targets. The network sessions continue to discuss how we can accurately assess fluency across the codes, the possible time it takes to progress and how this then informs our classroom teaching for all pupils.

At the same time, Gillborn et al’s (2017) interrogation of educational policy over 25 years argues that equity issues around the achievement “gap” between Black Caribbean and White pupils are still pressing. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils are still the lowest achieving group of pupils across England (Demie and McClean 2017; Demie, January 2018; Millard et al 2018). Concerns about these different groups of pupils’ achievement remain a key focus in London and for Achieving for Children. We will therefore ensure that there is a specific focus on the needs of these groups of pupils and anti racism strategies at each network meeting.

Content of each network session is drawn from current issues and from group feedback. An agenda is sent out the week before the session. The following topics are presented as a guide for the year.

The sessions are facilitated by Dr Kathryn Kashyap, who is the school improvement adviser for Ethnic Minority Achievement (EMA) at Achieving for Children. She is a former Head of EMA at a large, diverse secondary school, a trained English and TEFL teacher. She also has extensive experience of working with EAL families in the community. Her PhD looked at how refugee young people with possible SEND negotiated support for their learning at home and at school.
Event Learning Outcomes After each network meeting delegates will be able to:

• Demonstrate greater understanding about new initiatives or current issues around teaching pupils of diverse heritages;
• Update colleagues on the latest local and national strategies, research and information;
• Identify and share good practice;
• Evaluate networking opportunities with other relevant school coordinators;
• Cascade information from Q and A sessions with relevant Achieving for Children officers.
Trainers Kathryn Kashyap
Course categories Curriculum Networks, Meetings and Conferences
Age Ranges
0 - 5 yrs Yes 5 - 7 yrs No 7 - 11 yrs No 11 - 19 yrs No 19+ yrs Yes 
Event/course administrator Workforce Development (training@achievingforchildren.org.uk)
Event/course costs
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Standard Event Costs
£0.00
SessionSession DateSession TimeSession VenueMap
Session 1Wednesday 4 May 202216:00 - 17:30Home Study, N/A, N/A