The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Allerton High School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Allerton High School
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | ALLERTON HIGH SCHOOL
Elaine Silson, head teacher
A harmonious school
Allerton High has always been about ”enabling young
people to achieve success.” No individual element of
their practice is revolutionary; long-term commitment to
enhancing provision and a team effort involving all stakeholders
have led to a sustainable improvement in outcomes. Allerton
High has been placed in the top ten per cent of all schools
nationally for attainment and progress since 2015.
Our intake is broadly average. However, GCSE outcomes are well above national
average. In 2015, 79 per cent of our students gained five GCSE passes at A*-C
including English and maths; this increased to 84 per cent in 2016. Accountability
measures changed in 2016 but our continued success isimpressive.
Disadvantaged students’ attainment is in line with national average for non-
disadvantaged students despite the gap on entry. Furthermore, all ability groups
and the majority of individuals make significantly positive progress, demonstrating
our commitment to enabling all
its young people to achieve success.
There are seven key factors behind Allerton’s success.
1. An outstanding curriculum perfectly matches students’ needs.
There is a broad, balanced curriculum in years 7 and 8 encompassing core, EBacc,
arts and practical subjects, with appropriate differentiation to support those who
struggle. In year 9, students select ”gateway to GCSE courses” spending more
time on areas of interest; in year 10 students complete one GCSE with additional
time. This allows students to experience the demands of GCSE before they take
all subjects at the end of year 11. By combining year 10 and 11 classes for option
ALLERTON HIGH SCHOOL
»Head teacher: Elaine Silson
»Type of school: Co-
educational community school
for students aged 11-18
»No. of students: 1,359
»Designated ”Leading Edge”
status since 2015
Allerton High School
29ALLERTON HIGH SCHOOL |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
give up on
subjects, we can offer a wider variety
of courses. We deliver vocational
and Level1 courses for some and
”enrichment” stretches our most
independent learners, providing
the opportunity to complete the
Duke of Edinburgh qualification,
leadership awards or the extended
2. Excellent systems of care,
guidance and support.
On arriving at the school, I had to
re-build an approach to discipline
in school which rewarded good
behaviour, systematically tackled low
level disruption and provided alternative
education for those who presented
an unacceptable level of challenge to
teachers. Our Positive Behaviour System
is now consistently applied, regularly
reviewed and modified to make sure it
remains fit forpurpose.
Strong pastoral support ensures
students feel safe, happy and valued,
which, in turn, gives them the
confidence to thrive academically.
We have a diverse school community
where faith is important: we
acknowledge everyone’s beliefs in
our ”Celebration of Festivals”, where
year 7 students showcase key events
in their own as well as different
religions. Parents, visitors and students
look at costumes, taste traditional
food and examine artefacts and their
significance. This helps students
to understand the importance of
respecting different cultures and
values. This can be corroborated by
a quotation from a previous Ofsted
inspection, which stated that ”there
is an impressive level of tolerance and
respect” at Allerton HighSchool.
3. An ongoing dialogue about best
practice so teaching is as good as it
We have developed an agreed
framework for the Allerton lesson to
support staff new to teaching and
have introduced teacher development
groups, where teachers can hone their
knowledge in aspects of teaching and
learning and lead others so we can
implement an idea across the whole
school. For example, on a key piece
of work every half-term, we now use
the acronym PINS to provide effective
P – positive comment
I – improvements which need to be made
N – the next step the student is
expected to take and
S – the student showing improvements.
4. A relentless focus on maximising
the progress of every individual.
A deputy head and assistant head
forensically track and analyse
each student’s progress alongside
their attitude to learning data.
Importantly they then work with
achievement team leaders and
curriculum leaders to plan strategic,
timely, wide-reaching interventions.
intervention varies but includes
timetabled subject intervention,
conversations with students and
Key Measure 2016 2017
% English & maths 85%*A-C 63%A-C
% EBacc (achieved) 45% 50%
Progress 8 +0.47 +0.88
Disadvantaged Progress 8 +0.51 +0.86
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | ALLERTON HIGH SCHOOL
parents, small-group assemblies,
individual pastoral support and
after-school study support until
students are on track and feeling
5. Incisive use of data and self-
evaluation activities to tackle in-
We monitor provision carefully via
systematic self-evaluation activities,
which, alongside thorough analysis
of student progress, allows us to
formulate “raising achievement plans”
which will secure rapid improvement.
We effectively share internal strengths
and outstanding practice to support
development and everyone works
together in a sustained way to bring
about change. Governors have
willingly provided additional resources
to support thiswork.
6. An investment in staff to ensure
leadership has impact.
We nurture our own teaching
talent by offering opportunities for
staff to lead projects, facilitate our
teacher development groups or take
a secondment to the senior team
in readiness for their next step.
Wehavestrong links between senior
and middle leadership as well as using
the “Teaching Leaders” programme
provided by Ambition School
Leadership to support identified talent.
All of this has helped us to expand the
reach of our senior team and ensure
we have a widespread commitment to
really moving our agenda forward.
7. A strong sense of student voice
to increase student engagement.
It is important for students to feel part
of the organisation and we value their
contributions. They have excellent
insight and make real decisions;
students chose to have a rainbow-
coloured school when we moved
into our new accommodation; they
decided not to introduce blazers and
the junior leadership team has recently
worked on the introduction of a new
The fact that so many of our young
people choose to progress to our
equally successful sixth form and so
many external applicants apply to it
demonstrates how we offer excellent
provision where everyone matters.
Everybody matters at
progress as a
and by they
well in lessons
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.