Strategic School Improvement Fund

Ryders Hayes School and Everton Nursery School have both been awarded funding from the DfE Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF), designed to use evidence-based approaches to target schools in need of improvement.

The EEF-funded URLEY programme, led by the University of Oxford and A+ Education Ltd, is currently running in both areas as part of a large-scale randomised control trial. URLEY is a professional development programme designed to improve the quality of support for children’s oral language development in nursery and reception classes. As part of the SSIF, each area aims to extend URLEY beyond the scope of the current trial and use it – alongside other measures – to build strong and sustainable local communities of practice.

A+ Education Ltd will provide training and mentoring using the URLEY approach to the target schools. They will also train practitioners from leading local schools in the URLEY approach, preparing them to offer a scaled-down version of the training/mentoring on an ongoing basis. The role of the University will to support each project to evaluate progress towards their long-term goals (i.e. change in language-supporting practice and in child outcomes), focusing on likely mediators of these changes at the practitioner level.

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