What does the latest DfE attendance guidance mean for unregistered APs and Independent Special Schools

What does the latest DfE attendance guidance mean for unregistered APs and Independent Special Schools

Last week the Department for Education issued its guidance for education settings who must follow new rules on supporting, monitoring, and recording attendance as of this September. The guidance sets out how the Working Together to Improve School Attendance (May 2022) document will be implemented, once it becomes statutory for the 2024-2025 academic year.

There has already been significant public debate amongst education professionals on the headline issues. For example, the government’s decision to increase the penalties issued to families whose children fail to attend school, and that live attendance data be sent directly to the Department for Education as part of the new requirement to share daily school attendance data.

I have been thinking, since last week, about the impact of the new attendance guidance on the alternative provision settings I support from both a governance and EdTech perspective. AP across the UK is a mixture of maintained and non-maintained provision; it includes everything from independent special schools and medical provision, to pupil referral units and unregistered settings offering bespoke programmes. Many of the most vulnerable pupils are attending APs, and typically (though not always) have lower attendance than their mainstream counterparts. Students in AP have higher levels of SEND than in the wider school population, and are more at risk because of extended periods of time being temporarily or permanently excluded. 

Supporting, monitoring and recording attendance is something APs are pretty good at; the best APs I have worked with find innovative ways of catching pupils doing things well, including attendance. Some have even found ways to capture this digitally. I am absolutely sure that the maintained part of the AP sector will rise to the challenges outlined in this series of DfE documents, despite the difficulties they will face. 

However, my own concerns are for smaller, unregistered alternative provisions and independent special schools who support pupils with some of the lowest attendance in the country. These settings often provide highly specialised provision to children who have been excluded from multiple settings, or those at the more extreme end of the special educational needs spectrum. Will these settings be expected to implement the same guidance? If so, will they be ready to make a case for how and why their bespoke attendance systems work when they are often so different from the norm?  What if you are an independent special school with minimal Local Authority support, or a new provision starting small? Getting the right information when you don’t operate within a well-established network of maintained provision can be daunting, so here are my thoughts on what the attendance guidance might mean for unregistered AP and independent special school settings….

Do the DfE guidance documents all apply to independent special schools?

Well, yes. Working Together to Improve School Attendance describes itself as applying to:

“All school and academy trust staff, headteachers, governors, academy trustees, and alternative provision providers.”

While the guidance doesn’t specifically mention independent special schools, taken in conjunction with other DfE statutory guidance (for example the Independent School Standards and KCSIE) there is a strong implication that this will form part of the inspection process for these settings going forward from September. The document repeatedly refers to “schools” and a good rule of thumb here is that independent special schools operate within the DfE guidance even if it is not specified whether “all schools” refers to the independent part of the sector. This would be a minimum expectation whether your provision is inspected by Ofsted or not. 

Furthermore, the most recent document entitled Summary Table of Responsibilities for School Attendance (designed to compliment Working Together to Improve School Attendance)  refers to itself as both “statutory” and “for maintained schools, academies, independent schools, and local authorities” so there is far more clarity in the more recent document in terms of its application to independent schools. 

Similarly, the requirement that schools share their daily attendance data with the Department for Education (using the Wonde MIS integration tool) is also applied to “special schools (including non-maintained special schools)”. Independent schools of all kinds will be required to adhere to the two statutory documents, but on sharing daily attendance information it is only independent special schools that are expected to do this currently.  

Do the DfE guidance documents all apply to unregistered APs?

The list of settings to which the May 2022 statutory guidance applies includes “alternative provision providers” without specifying whether this refers to both registered and unregistered settings. It is kept deliberately vague, I suspect, because the SEND and AP Improvement Plan sets out the government’s agenda to gradually increase regulation of the unregistered AP sector by the end of 2025. The wording here provides wiggle room for the future without making it clear that unregistered APs must comply in the short term. 

Interestingly, the Feb 2024 document repeatedly refers to itself as being for “schools” but does not specify whether this includes AP of any kind. Many unregistered AP settings have relied upon delivering under 18 hours of education to avoid being classed as a “school” and thus subject to the constraints of Ofsted. Given the increased concerns by central government over the suitability of alternative provision settings not registered with Ofsted, the omission of AP from the category of “schools” is probably not to be relied upon as a reason not to work to the same guidance as maintained APs. The reference to “schools” almost certainly implies the inclusion of all maintained settings. It is also likely that the definition of what constitutes a “school” could be stretched to include unregistered settings in future. 

The requirement to share daily attendance data does include “non-maintained special schools” and “alternative provision” which is, again, not further defined. There is no specific reference to unregistered AP but the reference to “non-maintained special schools” suggests that non-maintained APs could arguably be included. By the letter of the guidance, unregistered settings probably cannot be compelled to share data currently, but it is worth thinking about whether this is best practice and whether abstaining sends the best message to your stakeholders.

The daily sharing of attendance information with the DfE is described as “voluntary”, but is it?

Despite the fact that the most recent guidance describes daily attendance data sharing as

“voluntary” it is hard to accept that there will not be an expectation that schools ensure this happens. For the majority of the school settings listed (90%, according to the guidance) this will just be a case of syncing their school MIS with the government’s free to access Wonde dashboard so there aren’t going to be many excuses not to do this even if it is supposedly “voluntary”. 

For unregistered settings this is far more complex. Technically, the sharing of data is “voluntary” and unregistered AP is not specified. However, there will likely be a strong expectation that unregistered AP, as far as possible, falls in line with what other settings are doing because local and central government will want full visibility. Unregistered APs will need to consider the message it sends to Local Authority commissioning teams and other stakeholders if they do not make efforts to send attendance data. They will need to keep in mind that the need for LAs to work in more joined up ways with alternative provisions has already been mandated as part of the DfE’s recent Thematic Review of Alternative Provision in Local Areas.

What are the barriers to APs & independent special schools complying with guidance?

If specialised settings are to comply with the May 2022 and Feb 2024 guidance on attendance, there will need to be significant work to review their existing policies and processes. Many specialist settings will have already thought very carefully about how they manage attendance, especially given lower attendance rates can be the norm for pupils who face barriers to full inclusion. Two key requirements stand out and are summarised here:

  • Where the policy/process has been adapted to meet the needs of the pupils in their care, APs must be able to explain precisely why this is appropriate.
  • Where a pupil’s attendance is poor there must be clear plans for how it will be improved and significant evidence of all that is being done to support them on an ongoing basis.

For specialist settings who often work with pupils with the most complex needs, there will be numerous reasons why attendance may be poor and these will be hard for staff to directly impact or mitigate. For example, the bar for attendance in schools may feel unrealistically high for unregistered APs and SEMH provisions, who will prioritise working slowly to build relationships with pupils and won’t be able to show results in the short to medium term. 

Settings will have to put work into reviewing policies to see where potential conflicts with DfE guidance may occur and may need specialised help to navigate the process. I think this is do-able, even for the most highly specialised provisions, but it will take some strategic thinking and may incur costs where consultancy is needed to support the process. Getting ahead of this will be key as the attendance guidance becomes statutory as of September 2024 and at any point could be imposed on unregistered settings as well as independent special schools.

What are the technical barriers for unregistered APs and Independent Special Schools?

There will be some serious technical barriers faced by some small specialist provisions. Most obviously, the requirement to send daily attendance data relies on a setting having its own MIS that will integrate with Wonde. The majority of smaller independent schools and unregistered alternative provisions won’t be using a standard MIS due to cost and/or suitability for their setting. Many operate using spreadsheets, have bespoke software, or rely on a combination of apps to manage attendance, behaviour and safeguarding. Settings may come under pressure from Local Authority partners to provide this information to help them meet their own statutory reporting requirements. 

Additionally, there are a great number of references, in Working Together to Improve School Attendance, to the importance of data in decision making and policies/processes. For example, schools must:

  • Monitor and analyse weekly attendance patterns and trends and deliver intervention and support in a targeted way to pupils and families. This should go beyond headline attendance percentages and should look at individual pupils, cohorts and groups.
  • Use this analysis to provide regular attendance reports to class teachers or tutors to facilitate discussions with pupils and to leaders.
  • Conduct thorough analysis of half-termly, termly, and full year data to identify patterns and trends. This should include analysis of pupils and cohorts and identifying patterns in uses of certain codes, days of poor attendance and where appropriate, subjects which have low lesson attendance.
  • Benchmark their attendance data (at whole school, year group and cohort level) against local, regional, and national levels to identify areas of focus for improvement.
  • Monitor in the data the impact of school wide attendance efforts, including any specific strategies implemented. The findings should then be used to evaluate approaches or inform future strategies.  

Specialist settings can often struggle to pull together this information, partly as they work 1:1 or in small groups with provision tailored to individual pupils, making it hard to make meaningful comparisons between students. They also work in ways which make a comparison to national benchmarks almost impossible. Access to systems that record the very specific types of progress made in specialist settings can be tricky, since there are few systems on the market that cater specifically for them; those that do can be expensive or not as flexible as required. 


Overall, it’s a mixed bag of news from last week.

My instinct is to recommend that unregistered APs and independent special schools begin the process as soon as possible by reviewing the documentation and asking for help if required. Where possible, all settings (maintained or not) should aim to implement the requirements set out in the two statutory documents as soon as possible. They should also contact their software supplier to discuss how data uploads to the DfE could be managed if they don’t have an MIS as this could well become a standard requirement either from central government or local authority partners. 

To register or not to register? – the Ofsted question in Alternative Provision

To register or not to register? – the Ofsted question in Alternative Provision

Why register with Ofsted as an Alternative Provision?

The SEND and AP Improvement Plan (March 2023) suggests that Ofsted will likely become more directly involved with monitoring “un-registered” provision in the future. The question of whether to register with the Department for Education as a school is becoming more and more prescient for many alternative education providers.

In the world of so-called “un-registered” alternative provision, Ofsted registration can feel like the wrong choice for a small organisation. The administrative burden alone can be overwhelming. Additionally, the shift from working in a highly bespoke way tailored to the individual student to a more structured “school-like” provision can be extremely challenging.

I worked as senior leader in an AP which found itself needing to register with the inspectorate. The provision had been operating successfully (registered with two local authorities) for sixteen years prior to registration as a school. I understand the complexity of needing to take staff and students on a journey that many did not sign up for. I have also experienced the frustration of trying to fit an odd shaped peg in a square hole in order to meet a set of requirements that sometimes feel like they are designed to make innovation impossible.


An Ofsted experience in Alternative Provision

Ofsted registration is a tricky process for small organisations. This is partly because the prerequisites for being a school (a permanent building, outdoor space, a formal curriculum, and a qualified Head Teacher, to name a few) are often the things without which APs can operate more flexibly than maintained alternative settings. Often, the very components that make a school recognisable as a school seem like an unhelpful model for provisions whose students thrive on more relational, less traditional forms of learning.

In my time as a leader we experienced two full three-day Ofsted inspections in an AP that had previously been “unregistered”. Both were physically and emotionally draining processes. Despite this, my experience (and that of my colleagues) was mostly positive and in some ways highly generative.

Ofsted has found itself under increased scrutiny in recent months following the tragic death by suicide of Reading Headteacher Ruth Perry. So, I say this with an acknowledgement of the very real and damaging impact that a difficult inspection can have on those involved. I also feel strongly that a change to the high stakes and low support inspection process is also long overdue.

My own experience, even when the overall result was not as good as I had hoped, is that our inspections were fair. I want to reflect on my most recent inspection experience as it pertains to the curriculum for which I was personally responsible. I want to do this because the experience revealed some of the positives about the current Ofsted inspection framework as it relates to alternative provisions, as well as the more obvious shortcomings.

    Ofsted registration for alternative provision

    AP Ofsted inspection through the lens of curriculum

    The Quality of Education section of the Ofsted inspection covers a range of requirements for Independent Special Schools. In particular, the need to demonstrate a “broad and balanced curriculum” that is:

    • appropriately documented
    • logically sequenced
    • differentiated for individual needs
    • has fundamental British values embedded
    • flexes to lower abilities but provides challenge for more able students.

    In our AP, we had a bespoke curriculum, having decided that the National Curriculum would not be appropriate for our students. When I took on the role, I focussed on whether the existing bespoke curriculum we had designed (ahead of our first full inspection in 2018) met the criteria set out in the new 2019 Independent School Standards.

    We were sure that the selection of subjects covered the necessary linguistic, numerical, technological, scientific, human and social, physical and creative and aesthetic ground. We were less convinced that we could show Ofsted inspectors that sessions were fully planned and sequenced in a way that would make sense to them. This was because our students made progress in nonlinear ways that were hard to plan for and even harder to record sometimes. 

    The challenge for getting a bespoke curriculum “signed off” by Ofsted

    The challenge was to create a system or process that allowed staff to plan sessions using schemes of work just like in a mainstream setting. However, we also needed with the flexibility to dart about and map cross-curricular outcomes when (as was inevitable) students covered the ground in very different ways. This was hugely difficult.

    We needed to show that there was an ideal plan and a direction of travel for each “subject” that was fully sequenced and allowed us to operate in a “best case scenario” way. But, we also needed to convince staff that schemes of work would be adaptable enough to allow dynamic planning for the issues they faced day to day.

    For example, staff often had to:

    • switch subjects to suit students’ interests and needs
    • change venues due to challenging behaviour or sensory overload
    • cater for huge gaps in underpinning knowledge
    • work around long periods of school refusal
    • deliver to mixed age groups with varying levels of SEND. 
    Alternative Provision Ofsted Quote
    What Ofsted says about being “radically different” in Alternative Provision

    Ofsted’s most recent inspection handbook for Independent Schools states that:

    We will judge schools that take radically different approaches to the curriculum fairly; inspectors will assess any school’s curriculum favourably when leaders have built or adopted a curriculum with appropriate coverage, content, structure and sequencing and implemented it effectively (27).

    I wanted to take this at face value, but I’d heard horror stories about schools whose inspection outcomes had been adversely affected by the personal preferences and assumptions of inspectors with no experience in alternative provisions or special schools.

    I was incredibly anxious that inspectors just wouldn’t “get” us or our students. This made my team and I focus all the more on refining a curriculum policy which would explain exactly why each subject was appropriate to the needs and aspirations of our students, and how each set of learning goals could be broken down over time in a way that allowed for a fair bit of “jumping” around. We wanted to demonstrate how ambitious we were for our learners whilst recognising that their individual journeys were never straightforward; progress would need to be measured and understood in the context of their own starting points.

    I was genuinely relieved to find that the inspectors recognised that, as a setting, we had put something meaningful together that was “well planned and sequenced” and moved students on from where they had been educationally “stuck”. The feedback was really positive and allowed us to feel a sense of confidence in what we were doing.

    Squaring the circle of a radically different curriculum

    I have reflected a lot since that inspection. I believe that it is possible to satisfy Ofsted while adopting a “radically different” approach but that it is a lot of hard work. In order to make it make sense, we had to use as our basis a very traditional model for sequencing a curriculum: year group based schemes of work for each “subject”. The radical bit came more from finding ways to use technology to track the various steps backwards and forwards across the curriculum so that it didn’t present like we were making it up as we went along.

    Learning to talk the inspectors’ language was also key. To do this we had to fully understand what else was out there in other settings and precisely why existing curricula wouldn’t work for us. We had to be able to provide justification for why we were doing things differently beyond the fact that our students really enjoyed it (despite knowing that, for us, this was the most important thing).  

    There were other parts of the inspection that were harder. At times it felt like one of the inspectors was unsettling the students and lacked a full understanding of the impact of his own presence and practice. Though Quality of Education was deemed to be good, there was also feedback about reading progress that made us feel like we were being penalised for working with students with very low levels of literacy. We were questioned fairly robustly about our approach to PE (breadth of experience over mastery of one or two sports) and were told it was “fine” but it still made it into our inspection report as a negative. All of this was a bit annoying given the huge strides we had made in these areas since our previous inspection.


    What I want to conclude by saying is that school registration after being an AP is not for the faint hearted – it takes a lot of work and can be incredibly daunting when you are working in “radical” ways. It is, however, do-able. My experience is that Ofsted inspections are rigorous, exhausting, and sometimes difficult not to internalise but they are also possible to get through if you are an alternative provision wanting to register as a school. It is not always a fun experience, but it can be done.

    The trick is to really know your students and advocate very clearly and logically for exactly how your approach meets their educational and other needs. If you can focus on that, a lot of the rest of the curriculum will follow.

    SEND & AP Improvement Plan: Technical Solutions to Evidencing National Standards

    SEND & AP Improvement Plan: Technical Solutions to Evidencing National Standards

    Why is evidence of progress so important  in SEND and AP contexts?

    I want to preface this blog with the assertion that it’s important to have strong evidence of student 
    progress in Alternative Provision, not only because of the demands of commissioners and regulators, but because children in AP deserve the best possible opportunities to grow as learners and citizens and to make a contribution to their communities and society at large. It is our responsibility as the adults and professionals to be creative in devising ways of measuring outcomes against individual starting points and to evidence these to the world in ways that can be understood and appreciated for the work and achievement they represent.

    The SEND and AP Improvement Plan (2023)

    In March this year the UK Government published its SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement
    Plan: Right Support, Right Place, Right Time. The document asserts new evidence-based standards as the foundation for its planned ‘nationally consistent SEND and Alternative Provision’.

    It is proposed that Ofsted and/or the CQC are used to carry out area SEND inspections with a focus on ‘the outcomes and experience of children with SEND and in alternative provision’. It is also implied that as part of the imperative for financial sustainability, value for money assessment will favour targeted support in mainstream schools, time-limited interventions and transitional placements in external AP.

    The Improvement Plan makes clear the critical, if not existential, challenge for APs of evidencing
    their impact. It’s so important to recognise the contribution of AP to improving outcomes for
    children who don’t thrive in mainstream settings. However, in providing bespoke programmes which meet the needs of children and young people with SEND, APs create packages which resist
    standardised regulation. As leaders working in AP, we battle to account for the impact of our work to commissioners and other stakeholders; there is always a challenge in evidencing, measuring,
    recording and analysing progress against such varied terms of reference. Clearly the SEND and AP Improvement Plan heralds an era of increased pressure in this respect.


    Tech Solutions to the SEND and AP Improvement Plan

    The ed-tech industry has been prolific, particularly post-covid 19, in producing applications which
    attempt to address issues faced by alternative providers – from online teaching spaces to wellbeing and mindfulness platforms; there are also some good products which allow staff to upload evidence of student work in the form of, for example, student-created artefacts, photographs and witness statements.

    However, if we are to demonstrate compliance with a set of national standards on students’ experience and outcomes, we must focus on developing robust systems which can show impact both anecdotally and through so-called ‘hard’ data. There is very little on the market which can do this, because the task is difficult and daunting. The commercial motivation is limited because the number of children affected is relatively small in relation to the mainstream market.

    At Huis we have been lucky enough to partner with a team of leaders in AP committed to working on this problem. We were embedded in an AP for a number of years and with the help of colleagues in the setting we developed LearnTrek, a cloud-based portal which can record all aspects of a child’s progress, including in social, emotional and mental health, attendance, engagement, behaviour and academic achievement; it also manages safeguarding, since in APs the volume and seriousness of concerns are significantly higher than in mainstream or other types of maintained schools.

    LearnTrek has developed organically out of the needs of each setting which uses it. We meet
    monthly with all our clients to troubleshoot any problems and discuss additional requirements;
    these respond to ideas for improvement borne out of user experience, to changes in the AP’s offer,
    and to external drivers such as national or local regulation. Needless to say the demands of the SEND and AP Improvement Plan are on the agenda for many of our clients at present.

    What LearnTrek can do, which other systems cannot, is to record student progress numerically,
    regardless of the starting point, the tailored nature of the programme or fluctuations in the journey. For example, attendance can be recorded against a wide range of increments familiar to staff in AP. It’s a triumph for a student who has not been to school for many months to speak to a tutor or mentor through a bedroom door; the next time the staff member calls they may not speak at all, or may respond with aggression and swear words. LearnTrek can track and analyse such shifting patterns, it can recognise improvement and produce graphics and charts to illustrate the journey to the child, to parents, to colleagues, to funders and to other stakeholders.

    The biggest challenge to date in developing LearnTrek has been to add a curriculum function. This
    was a huge undertaking, for everyone involved in the project. The complexity of sequencing a
    bespoke curriculum and breaking down outcomes into the smallest imaginable units of achievement was a labour of love, as was the process of converting these into a system which could be expressed in a series of noughts and ones.

    What the work has produced, however, is a way of identifying and measuring students’ achievements, and of evidencing this with hard data. The information generated can be used for a range of purposes – to plan effectively and to identify staff training needs; to help students understand themselves as effective learners and members of the school community, and, of course, it can be used to prove impact to funders, commissioners and regulators.

    The impact of the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan remains to be seen; it promises significant positive change for children and families and this is to be welcomed. The Plan is also a cause for concern among the large community of unregistered AP across the country who provide highly effective tailored programmes for children with SEND. It’s essential that we collaborate across disciplines to develop solutions which will maximise the availability of innovative and impactful provision.

    Social Mobility and Lost Potential – Why Progress Tracking Matters

    Social Mobility and Lost Potential – Why Progress Tracking Matters

    The Sutton Trust’s recent longitudinal study entitled Social Mobility: The Next Generation- Lost Potential at Age 16 (June 2023) highlights what many of us working with children and young people already know – the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged learners is already wide (or – “baked in”) from an early age and widens significantly by secondary education. The report focusses on the period of time between the end of primary school and GCSE exams, taking as its main indicator of disadvantage eligibility for free school meals and its baseline for potential (where a disadvantaged but academically capable child has the most potential for achievement) the final year of primary school.

    The measure of academic achievement used in the report is GCSE English and Maths results. Learners who are identified as academically capable in Year 6 are tracked through to their GCSEs. The study overwhelming shows that disadvantaged learners perform less favourably than their non-disadvantaged peers for a range of reasons including ethnicity, poverty, levels of parental involvement, young carer responsibilities, school demographics and admissions policies, and access to technology among other reasons.

    The study is hugely valuable and points to the complex mix of barriers to full potential experienced by disadvantaged children and young people, as well as the terrible cultural, socio-economic and wellbeing impacts of lost potential for these learner as well as the rest of society. The report also makes sensible recommendations for how schools and the government might help to close the attainment gaps it identifies.

    However, the research conducted did get me wondering about how we might measure lost potential in ways that didn’t rely on GCSE results as a measure of achievement or “success”. How, for example, could we look at the same sort of statistics for learners who show potential at Year 6 and who go on to realise that potential in ways not so easily measured or understood as successful?

    In the report, levels of Special Educational Needs are identified as “one of the biggest differentiators between the high attainer [cohort] and other disadvantaged groups”. The percentage of the disadvantaged high attainer cohort identified as having SEN in year 11 was just 9% compared to a national average of 60%, with the most common reason given as “social emotional and mental health”. While this suggests that the number of potential high attainers with SEN is much lower than those without, it is still the case that many learners with high potential find themselves unable to continue in mainstream education after Year 6. Often this will be for reasons related to trauma and mental health difficulties rather than difficulties with learning and cognition or physical and sensory SEN.

    For children and young people who find themselves without a school placement or in alternative provision or other non-mainstream settings offering something other than GCSEs – how could a similar journey be tracked from academic potential in Year 6 to outcomes by Year 11? Does the metric chosen by the study (tracking a cohort through to GCSEs) demonstrate the understandable problem of gathering data on the potential of a cohort of learners in non-mainstream education – a group more invisible to statistics in terms of its own (equally important) achievements?

    The answer is yes. Tracking attainment for children and young people who find themselves in alternative settings or without formal education is almost impossible at the scale demonstrated by The Sutton Trust’s important research. However, as leaders and educators we owe it to these children and young people to design ways of tracking their progress, whether through qualifications other than GCSEs or other metrics designed to assess them from their individual starting points and up to and including the GCSE achievements of their peers.

    Part of supporting children and young people to understand the value of their own contributions to society is helping them recognise themselves as learners with the capacity to contribute- to be “socially mobile”. Viewing success only through the lens of the National Curriculum (and by implications GCSE qualifications) is deeply problematic for the cohort who will inevitably view themselves as failing by this measure. 

    More importantly, recognising and valuing achievement more widely is a key factor in building the sort of self-worth that helps children and young people to have the confidence to go into the world and make that contribution. With the lifetime costs of NEET for children between 16-18 estimated to be somewhere between £12 billion and £32.5 billion there is an economic argument for finding ways to foster innovation in progress tracking in education and support settings. The onus is on us as professionals to innovate  so that all children and young people can socially navigate to appropriate successes depending on their own individual starting points.

    In my own work in Alternative Provision and in designing educational technologies, I have recently been very focussed on how to build a full and rich picture of attainment for those whose successes can look pretty different to GCSE results but for whom the success in no less of an achievement. This has been based on a strong belief the the first step in social mobility for this cohort must be the recognition of its possibility.

    The Sutton Trust’s study has certainly given me food for thought, as well as a few ideas about how to build this into future research and design of my own using both qualitative and quantitative data. I am so excited to begin sharing the new progress tracking options within LearnTrek over the next few months – hopefully, this will be a small but important step towards helping evidence potential (as well as the challenges in realising it) for other equally important  cohorts of disadvantaged students.