Addressing the Challenges:
RADY is not a quick fix, nor is it meant to be. If a quick fix existed, we would all have heard about it by now.
Why a School Should Buy:
The RADY Project is a new approach to closing the attainment gap.
Since its introduction in 2011, billions have been spent on the Pupil Premium, yet the national gaps remain stubbornly persistent. In 2012 it was noticed that the vast majority of schools set targets that are, to a greater or lesser extent, based on prior attainment. The net result is that there is a built-in gap in the targets between those for disadvantaged children (who tend to have lower prior attainment) and those for other children. This is in large part responsible for the difficulty schools have faced in closing the gap.
The RADY project aims to eliminate the attainment gap by first ensuring that the targets set for disadvantaged children are, on average, the same as those set for other children. But so-called ‘aspirational’ targets, by themselves, are not sufficient, so a novel approach to tracking and monitoring pupil progress is introduced. The combined approach increases the sensitivity of schools’ tracking and monitoring systems to underachievement. RADY itself does not provide intervention – its aim is to provide more accurate information on which pupils are most in need of extra support at the right time to enable the greatest impact.
The RADY project was established by Dave Hollomby in 2012 in Wirral, where it demonstrated strong impact. It is now running in many schools in Staffordshire and Birmingham, where early indications are extremely encouraging. HMI have recognised its value as a new approach to tackling the gap. It has been called a ‘potential game-changer’.
The project also enables schools to work in networks to consider the data, share best practice and further discuss which strategies are working and which are not having the expected impact in closing the gap. It will consider the benefits of universal strategies and pupil targeted interventions.