Embedding Formative Assessment

A two-year professional development programme for all schools and colleges that has been independently proven to increase student achievement.

DfE Accelerator Fund for EFA

We are able to offer a limited number of schools with a secondary phase based in the Regional Schools Commissioners (RSC) regions of the North of England, East Midlands and the Humber, and West Midlands funding for the fully supported Embedding Formative Assessment (EFA) programme.

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Building on over 20 years of research by Dylan Wiliam and Siobhan Leahy, this programme has shown to make a positive impact on student achievement and teacher behaviours. The Education Endowment Foundation found:

  • Learners made the equivalent of two months’ additional progress in their Attainment 8 GCSE score
  • Learners in the lowest third for prior attainment made more progress than their classmates in the top third
  • Teachers felt the Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs) improved their practice by allowing valuable dialogue between teachers and encouraged experimentation with formative assessment strategies.

Why introduce the Embedding Formative Assessment programme into your school?

  • Improve teaching and learning across your school by empowering teachers to trial and refine formative assessment strategies.
  • Enable learners to take responsibility for their own learning through peer and self-review techniques.
  • Support your teachers in taking ownership over their learning by providing professional development and leadership opportunities.
  • Build a stronger sense of community in schools with teachers and learners collaborating with each other with common goals.

Formative assessment: the most cost effective way to improve education

Dylan Wiliam, emeritus professor of educational assessment at UCL, explains the evidence for the cost-effectiveness of formative assessment.

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Arrange a free phone consultation

With the support from the EEF, we are offering schools a free telephone consultation with Senior Education Lead, Corinne Settle. Corinne leads on the EFA programme and will discuss how it can be tailored towards the needs of your school.

Arrange your free consultation

How does Embedding Formative Assessment work?

Through monthly workshops, known as Teacher Learner Communities (TLCs), groups of teachers focus on key formative assessment strategies that could be used in their classroom and feedback on the impact of techniques previously used. In between the workshop sessions, teachers are encouraged to conduct peer lesson observations and provide feedback to each other regularly.

Over a sustained period, this leads to whole-school impact as the TLC model provides support and accountability, and the regularity of the meetings supports a change in classroom habits which permeates throughout the school with conversations in staff rooms, classroom drop-ins and regular peer observation and reviews.

Working collaboratively workshop

Download a sample of one of the Teacher Learner Community workshops.

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Visit an EFA Ambassador School

Summer term 2022 Open days are now all fully booked, express your interest to be notified when new dates are available.

Express your interest

See the impact of the programme

Throughout the year, our EFA Ambassador schools offer you an opportunity to see the EFA programme in action. These online open days will allow you to hear from the school’s leadership team, teachers and students to gain a better understanding of how the programme works, how it has benefited the whole school and get answers to any questions you have about the programme.

Our journey to embed formative assessment

Clare Taylor, EFA Lead, Helsby High School, describes key features, including staff enjoyment through teacher-centred development, and student involvement in success criteria.

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Excellent teaching for pupils with SEND is excellent teaching for all

Tanja Albert, deputy learning support manager, and Alice Hagger, deputy head of English, Ricards Lodge High School, explain the formative assessment techniques that have worked well with all students, including those with SEND.

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Longer term view: Teacher learning communities and the impact of formative assessment

Helsby High School teachers and school leaders share their experience of embedding formative assessment through the two-year teacher learning communities (TLCs) programme.

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