primary & secondary education

Delivering Outstanding Teaching for EAL Pupils

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 15:50

Wednesday 6 March 2019

The Hatton- etc Venues, Central London


This Forum provides participants with the opportunity to assess the current landscape of education for pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL).  Sector leaders will share the latest research and policy in this area as they explore with delegates how to enhance teaching and learning. Attendees will discuss successful methods for improving educational outcomes for EAL pupils with outstanding case studies, including through better data usage, engaging the local community in pupil progress and increasing development opportunities for staff to improve teaching techniques that better support EAL pupils.


This Forum is specifically designed for Primary and Secondary Schools. Typical job titles will include:

  • Headteachers
  • Principals
  • Assistant Headteachers
  • School Governors
  • Teachers
  • Strategic Education Leaders
  • Advisers for School Improvement
  • Head of Schools Standards and Effectiveness
  • Directors of Languages
  • Language Advisers
  • Heads of Curriculum
  • Heads of Assessment

The Forum is also open to Local Authorities, Higher Education, and the Voluntary and Private Sectors to encourage discussion and networking.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Mark Sims HMI, National Lead for EAL, Ofsted
  • Dr Robert Sharples and Hamish Chalmers, Vice Chairs, NALDIC
  • Silvana Richardson, Head of Teacher Development, The Bell Foundation
  • Diana Sutton, Director, The Bell Foundation
  • Jo Hutchinson, Director for Social Mobility and Vulnerable Learners, and Author, Educational Outcomes of Children with English as an Additional Language, EPI 
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Dr Robert Sharples, Vice Chair, NALDIC (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Evidence for EAL Practice and Policy - What Do We Know, What Do We Need to Know?

  • Overviewing the need for rigorous UK-based intervention studies to inform practice and policy
  • Summarising NALDIC’s response to the report Educational Outcomes of Children with EAL, and highlighting the relationship between assessment and evidence for practice; riding a one wheeled bike has its challenges
  • Reviewing the extent and focus of EAL intervention research in the UK: A critical look at the EEF’s systematic review of EAL research and a four-year follow-up – What’s changed?
  • Encouraging teachers and policy makers to continue to value English proficiency assessment, and to vigorously ask for evidence when uncertainty about how to respond to those data

Hamish Chalmers, Vice Chair, NALDIC (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Delivering Outstanding Education for All EAL Pupils

  • Outlining the diverse nature of pupils with English as an additional language and how a “once sized fits all approach” is unhelpful
  • What we know about how proficiency is English is associated with attainment for EAL pupils, the changes to the school census and international comparisons
  • Sharing expert guidance for teachers seeking to effectively assess EAL pupils, ensuring fair and consistent judgements across a collection of extremely diverse pupils
  • Considering the future of EAL teaching and leadership, and the need for specialist staff to better support pupils

Diana Sutton, Director, The Bell Foundation (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: The Role of the Inspections Process in Evaluating the Progress of EAL Pupils

  • Ensuring that all teachers and support staff are actively taking responsibility for teaching EAL, incorporating EAL pupils’ needs into lesson plans and curriculum design
  • Understanding how to successfully assess pupils’ subject knowledge in their first language to tailor subsequent support and language development opportunities
  • Exploring when it may be appropriate to withdraw EAL pupils from mainstream teaching to conduct targeted lessons
  • Demonstrating a commitment to continued support for advanced EAL learners

Mark Sims HMI, National Lead for EAL, Ofsted (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Enhancing Teachers’ Professional Development to Improve Pupils’ Language Skills

  • Outlining the Integrating English into Enfield project, which aimed to enhance attainment and develop the cross-curricular language skills of pupils with English as a Additional Language (EAL) whilst developing teacher pedagogy and enhancing classroom practice
  • Exploring the LiLAC (Language in Learning Across the Curriculum) model including the implications for teacher training and understanding the language demands across the curriculum
  • Developing online resources to support LiLAC pedagogy, and sharing borough-wide schemes of work through subject and Headteacher networks
  • Supporting teachers to create cross-curricula language-focused scheme of work and lesson plans that place literacy and subject language demands at the heart of all teaching.

Michelle Stanley, Head of Curriculum and Standards Team, School Improvement Service, Enfield Local Authority (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Enhancing Outcomes for Pupils with EAL at Secondary Level

  • Sharing best practice in working with families to ensure the whole community is supportive of the school’s educational efforts, successfully improving outcomes across the school
  • Developing a database around EAL pupils’ needs and preferred learning styles that all teachers can access
  • Creating an Ethnic Minorities Achievement (EMA) Department to ensure that the curriculum is accessible to every pupil
  • Working with teachers to develop their skills and knowledge as well as develop confidence among pupils
  • Building a research bank of EAL best practice across the school and with other local institutions to encourage an informed and flexible approach to learning for both teachers and pupils
  • Disseminating examples of differentiated work sheets and resources to help EAL students with their English language proficiency at various stages of their development

Ruth Smith, Associate Headteacher, Mulberry High School (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Improving Educational Outcomes for EAL Pupils

  • Outlining the key findings and recommendations of the February 2018 report, Educational Outcomes of Children with English as an Additional Language
  • Exploring how the DfE can create a beneficial long-term plan for the future of English proficiency assessment
  • Making the evidence-based case for increased funding for EAL pupils at all levels, and ensuring decisions around funding are reflective of wider local authority and pupil premium funding decisions
  • Learning lessons from international trends around supporting EAL pupils, including through staff development programmes and specialist qualifications
  • Effectively measuring the development of EAL pupils: How we could overcome problems with using measures such as Progress 8 for these pupils

Jo Hutchinson, Director for Social Mobility and Vulnerable Learners, and Author, Educational Outcomes of Children with English as an Additional Language, EPI (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Enhancing Support and Opportunities for EAL Pupils

  • Outlining the EAL Assessment Framework for Schools, supporting teachers in primary and secondary schools to enhance pupils’ English proficiency and successfully monitor progress
  • Advocating for continued specialist support for EAL pupils, and utilising data to ensure this is effectively targeted
  • Highlighting the importance of considering when pupils arrived in English schools in their wider progress assessments
  • Sharing guidance for teachers on how to ensure pupils transition from basic social interaction proficiency to academic English proficiency, particularly for the secondary curriculum

Silvana Richardson, Head of Teacher Development, The Bell Foundation (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Successfully Improving Support for Pupils with EAL – A Local Authority Approach

  • Discussing the role of local authorities in supporting local education providers to enhance the teaching and learning experience for pupils with EAL at all key stages, resulting in an average KS4 Progress 8 Score of 0.61
  • Sharing good practice that local authorities can use to work with schools and adapt to contextual needs to ensure that pupils receive targeted support and guidance
  • Outlining ideas of how an EAL focus can “survive” at an LA level in times of decreasing budgets
  • Understanding how local authorities’ involvement in supporting EAL pupils directly links to increased attainment

Mark Smith, Citizenship  Language & Learning Senior Advisor, City of Wolverhampton Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Delivering Outstanding Teaching and Learning for Primary Pupils with EAL

  • Understanding the challenges of implementing a whole-school approach to EAL teaching, with 83% of pupils speaking a language in addition to English
  • Ensuring that every teacher is trained in teaching EAL, and discussing ways to fund this training, such as with pupil premium funding
  • Engaging with new starters to ease transition into the school: Conducting home visits and inviting pupils into the school for a play session with staff
  • Sharing best practice methods for writing progression, as one of the top 20 schools for this area of progression in 2017
  • Discussing the collaborative learning approach embedded into school life, and the benefits for EAL pupils of being in mixed-ability classes
  • Effectively preparing EAL pupils for the transition to secondary school, and working with local feeder schools to ensure they understand individual pupils’ needs

Lisa Thompson, Headteacher, St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change


The Educational Outcomes of Children with English as an Additional Language report, published in February 2018 by The Bell Foundation, Unbound and Education Policy Institute (EPI), highlighted the misleading attainment figures reported for pupils with EAL. While these pupils were 4% more likely to achieve the English Baccalaureate compared to those with English as a first language, this does not demonstrate the heterogeneity of the group, and the varying factors affecting progress and potential. Measurement of these factors also contributes to misleading statistics, for example academic assessments taken by pupils before English proficiency is reached will underestimate academic attainment and potential.

In an attempt to better support EAL pupils in the English school system, and to ensure adequate funding, in recent years the government has required schools to gather data around pupils’ English proficiency, as well as nationality and country of birth. This has been controversial however, leading to the government withdrawing this requirement in 2018. Sector leaders have encouraged the continuance of English proficiency data collection though, with NALDIC highlighting the importance of using this information to provide high quality inclusive education for all pupils.

Alongside this, the Educational Outcomes report outlines a number of key recommendations for the Department for Education (DfE), researchers and practitioners alike. This includes establishing a clear plan for English proficiency assessment, introducing a late arrival premium to boost support for older pupils, and generating more expertise around EAL teaching and learning techniques in all schools.

As such, teachers, policymakers and researchers must now coordinate efforts to ensure that every pupil with EAL is fully supported to achieve their maximum potential and enhance educational outcomes with the help of adequate funding and strong leadership.

Dr Robert Sharples, Vice Chair, NALDIC

Rob is a teacher and researcher at the University of Edinburgh. His main focus is on language education and global mobility: he teaches courses on language pedagogy and policy, multilingualism and EAL. Rob’s research focuses on young people’s migration trajectories and the experiences they bring with them to school. He also investigates how teachers and schools can meet the needs of an increasingly connected, mobile and multilingual student population.

Rob is vice-chair of NALDIC (the subject association for EAL) and editor of the EAL Journal.



Diana Sutton, Director, The Bell Foundation

Diana Sutton started as founding Director of The Bell Foundation in September 2011. The Bell Foundation works to overcome exclusion through language education and is working on two thematic programmes on children with English as an additional language and on a programme with offenders with language and literacy needs. Diana’s current work includes working in partnership with leading Universities on research which the Foundation then applies to policy and practice. Recent projects have included the development of an Assessment Tool for assessing EAL learners, with Cambridge University and Kings College London and three randomised control trials with the EEF. Diana is on the Editorial Board of the Languages, Society and Policy journal at Cambridge University.  She has worked for over 30 years in UK and international charities in different senior management, policy, public affairs and campaigning roles, as Head of Policy and Public Affairs for the NSPCC and previously as Head of Save the Children’s office in Brussels and was a Trustee of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England from 2006-2013.



Mark Smith, Citizenship Language & Learning Senior Advisor, City of Wolverhampton Council

Mark Smith has been working in education and teacher training for the past 20 years. He currently manages a team in Woverhampton leading on literacy and EAL which has worked with schools to drive up standards in literacy in Wolverhampton to 2 points above national at end of KS2 for both writing and reading and sig plus progress for EAL learners. He also works internationally, currently delivering training on an education working with 5000 schools in Iraq and has provided consultancy support in the last 3 years to literacy and inclusive education projects in Afghanistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria.



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