for children, teachers and parents, but much remains to be done to
make sure that children's academic progress is maintained, new
on Pupil Progress and Attainment' examines both the move from one
school to another, and the move from one year group to the next
within a school. The research was conducted during the first six
months of this year.
The report says that the settling-in process is improving because
more schools are using induction programmes to familiarise pupils
with the learning they encounter when they start secondary school.
But there is a dip in academic progress for too many pupils
transferring into schools. Some of these pupils fail to achieve
better results at the end of the year following transfer than they
got one year previously in their feeder schools.
Welcoming the research report, schools minister Jacqui Smith said:
'The government's 1,200 summer schools and Key Stage 3 Literacy
Intervention Programme are addressing the dip in performance
following pupils starting secondary school. Support for schools is
also available through the Standards Fund to make the transfer
process focus more on standards and expectations as well as social
and organisational factors.
'It is increasingly recognised that there has been for many years a
drop in educational attainment following the transfer of a child to
secondary school, but until now we were not fully aware of the
factors contributing to this.
'Some children can face problems coping with a variety of teachers
and managing to concentrate and learn across a wider range of
subjects during the school week. Other pupils can find themselves
repeating work from the previous year when they expect subject
content to be new and challenging. Teachers' expectations of pupils'
learning were found to be low in many cases.
'But the evidence suggests that schools have been increasingly
successful in managing the move from primary to secondary school.
Induction programmes have become more user-friendly with the result
that fewer pupils are experiencing anxiety about the move to the new
'Schools need to make sure that children's academic work does not
suffer. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has been piloting
bridging units to enable pupils to start a piece of work in the last
year of the primary school and complete it in the first term of the
'New technology is being used to promote more efficient transfer of
records between schools, to improve liaison between teachers and, in
some cases, to enhance learning, for example when specialist subject
teachers from the secondary school provide lessons for primary pupils
by means of video-conferencing. The transfer of pupil's academic
records between schools will be made easier with the introduction of
common transfer forms later this autumn. The forms, which carry pupil
assessment details, will ensure that secondary schools receive
useful, easy to understand information about children's ability.'
1. Maurice Galton, Jean Rudduck and John Gray at Homerton College,
Cambridge, were commissioned to review and evaluate the research on
the effects on pupils' progress and attainment of transition and
transfer. Schools and LEAs were also approached to review current
effective practice. The researchers have drawn up proposals for phase
two of the research which will involve schools adopting strategies to
improve pupils' learning following transfer and transition.
2. Copies of The Impact of Transitions and Transfers on Pupil
Progress and Attainment, Research Report No. RR131, are available
from DfEE publications, PO Box 5050, Sherwood Park, Annesley,
Nottingham, NG15 0DJ, tel 0845 60 222 60 priced£4.95. Alternatively