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NAHT comment on the Sutton Trust's report into teaching quality

Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union said: “There is a great deal to chew over in this helpful report. It cuts past the often sterile debate on structures to focus on what happens in classroom - specifically which practices advance learning and which don't.

“'Traditionalists' will find much to satisfy them: direct instruction performs better than 'discovery learning', good subject knowledge is essential and too much praise can have a negative effect and confidence building isn't effective. Setting, however, is seen not to work. 

“Common sense is also satisfied: asking the right questions, checking understanding and spacing out study are all favoured. It reminds us once again of the importance of assessment. 

“For school leaders, there are some interesting messages. Their gut feel for what works and who is effective is insufficient. They are urged to rely on multiple sources of evidence, to become assessment and data experts. Lesson observation should be coupled with immediate developmental feedback and with achievement data and student feedback for maximum impact. 

“We need more of this sort of work and we need it to be placed in the hands of practitioners.” 

Page Published: 31/10/2014

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