Alma Harris, Huw Lloyd, Dorian Pugh, Alex Southern
WG Funded Research Meeting/All Age Schools Forum
Purpose of the meeting is to catch up on progress of stage 1 research and to look at next steps for stage 1 research. Also to look at stage 2.
Participation and completion in stage 1 research have been inconsistent, partially due to Covid, and this has put back the intended presentation of the research in the Autumn Conference which WG is keen to attend.
AS has met with the three participating groups (Pedagogy, Leadership and Wellbeing) and detailed the different stages of progress – detailed notes can be found on the AASF website under Agendas/Minutes. AS remarked that it would be beneficial to remind schools of their commitment to the research.
The Pedagogy group’s progress is very good – much data has been created on cross-phase teaching and its impact, 15 interviews have been held and 210 responses have been received to a questionnaire. Analysis is needed. AS noted support given. Capacity is an issue and AS is not a Welsh speaker so cannot do the analysis. A significant period of time will be needed to complete the research but there is momentum and the group wants to meet in person.
The Leadership group has not generated any data due to Covid. Simon Phillips, Idris Davies has dropped out due to an upcoming inspection. Laura Morris, Nantgwyn is very keen (HLl has spoken to the Head). A further conversation is needed on the timescale for completion and how the research can be moved on. AS has offered support. AH commented that each group presented on achievements on the penultimate day of initial training.
The Wellbeing group was able to continue with data analysis after lockdown. There is a tight focus and interesting findings, including evidence that there are transition issues with children not in the AAS.
There is insufficient content/outcome for the planned autumn conference and Kevin Palmer is relaxed about this.
The new Education Minister is keen to see the outcomes and has been looking at the AASF website – it is clear that the research needs to be of a high quality..
ESTYN will report/produce its thematic review in January and it was noted that the AAS Forum surveys provided a great deal of detail.
HLl remarked that a number of schools is keen to undertake the Stage 2 research 2021-2023 as noted in the recent WG funded research meeting on 12th However, these schools will need to be pinned down and the process of engagement tightened up as WG will wish to see results. It will be necessary to have a more formalized approach to timescales, participation and completion. HLl commented that retrospectively, groups should have been asked to sign a contractual obligation to complete the research as some schools have claimed funding without contributing to the groups or completing projects, while others have dropped out of the research for various reasons, leaving some individual researchers to pick up the pieces.
There was some discussion as to whether it would be beneficial for other schools to get involved with the Leadership group and AS felt that it would. HLl will meet with CH over the summer to provide a framework for the administration of Phase 2
Swansea University owes 2 days training for the collaborative groups which should expedite the research – Covid has been a real problem in preventing continuity in the project.
It was suggested that feedback on Stage 2 research could be staged e.g. termly/biennially in a progress ‘conference’, a proposal agreed upon by attendees.
The Phase 2 funding proposals were detailed again by HLl. These proposals were outlined in the last AASF meeting. SU is happy to work with the Forum on this next stage and is happy with the proposed fields of study – they can be worked into the Erasmus research AS is completing which is focused on Pedagogy and where cross-phase teaching is a consistent concern.
Bespoke workshops will be offered by AS to support the new research.
With regard to the conference, the date needs to be cross referenced with Erasmus. SU will have a reportable outcome by December but Easter was agreed upon as an appropriate time for the conference. This will need to show value for money so it is intended to present on the Phase 1 research and posters, Erasmus and the next phase of research. International partners could also be involved. It is important that schools talk about practice rather than just research. A robust evidence base is needed on AASF on the comparative and local aspects of the research. ESTYN’s thematic review will also need to be considered prior to the conference. Vaughan Williams/Kevin Palmer will be contacted.
There will be contact regarding issues raised in the meeting in September.
Meeting ended at 11.00 a.m.
Minutes recorded by Catherine Hart
All Age Schools Forum warmly welcomes Ysgol Bro Caereinion to our forum.