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Advice needed: Vertical tutoring and KS4 outcomes

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by clwadsworth, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. clwadsworth

    clwadsworth New commenter

    Hi
    I was wondering if anyone could share their opinions on vertical tutoring and tracking outcomes. If anyone has this system, can you share how you manage running the system that requires a 'Head of House' to focus on the varied needs of a particular year group (ie yr 7 transition, yr 9 options etc) whilst keeping a constant focus on and driving year 11 outcomes. Who has responsibility of the year 11 outcomes? If 5 different House leaders are doing this how do you ensure consistency?

    Everything I have read on VT suggests its main strength is building a community/relationships etc, there are references to how it helps raise achievement but no depth of how. I can see how it can be a benefit with a sense of community but not sure how effective it is with progress measures in mind.

    Thanks
     
  2. pi r squared

    pi r squared New commenter

    I've never worked with vertical tutor groups and it's not something we are considering, but it seems to me that it's a good opportunity to move away from concentrating on "Y11 outcomes" as you mention, and onto outcomes and progress in general. Last-minute panic, sticking-plaster solutions and frantic fire extinguishing are common characteristics when outcomes are only considered in Y11, where a vertical tutoring system actually gives the opportunity to keep an eye on progress and such throughout all years.

    I'm not aware of any specific research that has looked at the impact of vertical tutoring on achievement. I have heard success stories of schools that have changed to VT and had successes - but correlation does not always imply causation. Typically, when a school changes tutor structure they will also make other changes that will also have an impact - they will (should) launch it with vigour, change the ethos to suit it, deliver training, get staff buy-in, parent buy-in, student buy-in, governor buy-in, build other systems to fit, etc. etc. I would suggest it's sometimes the tightening up and structure that comes with a change, rather than (or as well as) the change itself, that makes the difference - it is always almost impossible to attribute changes in outcomes, positive OR negative, to one key change.

    I remember attending a PiXL conference a couple of years back, and at the main meeting they had representatives from two schools to talk about improvements their schools had made. One talked about a number of things but mentioned the move to VT and the positive impact it had made on relationships, peer-support, etc.; the other talked about a number of things but mentioned how they'd moved away from VT so that they could get Y11 specialists in the tutor and pastoral team that could concentrate on just that year group! Again, it's unlikely to be the system that made the impact (how long do kids even spend in their tutor groups anyway?), but the incidentals that come - deliberately or accidentally - from change.
     
    clwadsworth likes this.

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