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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 13:07 GMT
Experts seek 2020 learning vision
An expert team has been set up to advise ministers on how best to make "personalised learning" a reality for every pupil in England.

The group, headed by Tower Hamlets chief executive, Christine Gilbert, is to recommend how teaching and learning should develop up to 2020.

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly already has plans for more "catch-up" lessons for struggling teenagers.

She said the best schools had been personalising learning for years.

'Conveyor belt'

The new review group is described by her department as part of a move to ensure "that no school adopts a 'one size fits all' approach to teaching".

"Good teachers know that educating pupils on a conveyer belt doesn't deliver high standards," it said.

In practice, "personalised learning" would include more catch-up lessons and intensive support for those who were falling behind, with extra stretch and challenge for gifted and talented pupils.

There would be "new opportunities for all young people to pursue their talents and interests as far as they want to".

The less controversial aspects of the Education and Inspections Bill - being debated by MPs on Wednesday - include a new right to vocational education for 14-year-olds.

The review will look at:

  • teaching and learning strategies, especially in literacy and numeracy
  • best use of setting and grouping
  • improving parental engagement
  • how personalised learning can close the achievement gap and boost social mobility
  • addressing the needs of gifted and talented children
  • use of ICT and pupil data to personalise learning
  • the potential for workforce reform to support personalisation
  • utilising flexibilities in the National Curriculum
  • collaboration between schools to deliver educational opportunities.
The other experts are:

Jim Rose, QCA Board member, former head of Inspection at Ofsted, leader of the Rose Review of the Teaching of Early Reading
Derek Wise, head of Cramlington Community High School, Northumberland
Kathy August, principal, Manchester Academy
Professor David Hargreaves, associate director of development and research, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge
Nick Pearce, Director IPPR
Jane Roberts, child psychologist, former leader of Camden local authority.

They are expected to report back before the end of the year.

Shadow schools minister Nick Gibb said the decision to establish the group was very welcome as it was important to spread best practice.

"Grouping children by ability within school enables children of all abilities to be stretched to their full potential," he said.

"Setting must surely be the way ahead. Sixty per cent of lessons still take place in mixed ability classes. This must be a contributing factor to the underperformance of many schools."

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09 Feb 06 |  Education
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17 Oct 05 |  Education
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Gifted pupils 'under-achieving'
09 Aug 05 |  Education

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