Published on: 30 Oct 2015

To stem the flow, we’ve developed strong improvement strategies that transform academies into outstanding places to learn

How do we stop lost learning in our academies?

With 18 academies in our multi-academy trust, predominantly based in deprived areas, we’re no strangers to taking on schools with a history of underachievement. Lost learning is a real issue for our pupils. In fact, before their school becomes an academy, we actually find that many pupils have been at risk of regressing in their learning, rather than making progress.

To stem the flow, we’ve developed strong improvement strategies that transform academies into outstanding places to learn. Central to this is a real understanding of pupils’ starting points. So standardised assessments – a way of comparing like-for-like across our academies – are vital.

The Complete Digital Solution helps us take a whole-pupil approach. We use the Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) when schools become an academy as it standardises that all-important starting point and helps us allocate support from The Trust proportionately to need. It also highlights just how much lost learning has taken place.

We’ve introduced regular assessment points across the year, when our academies use the Progress Test Series in maths, science and English to get a snapshot of where each pupil is and a measurement of progress over time. These are looked at centrally – easy to do as the moderation and standardisation is taken care of – so we can monitor how much ground is being covered.

To add a pastoral dimension, this term we’re introducing Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS), a survey that will help us gain a critical insight into what different groups across The Trust really think. It all helps close the circle of what we are trying to achieve.

The bottom line is that we believe all pupils deserve the very best education and we are committed to providing it. Using these assessments as a core part of our infrastructure let’s us ask the right questions, rapidly act on the answers and definitively put a stop to lost learning.


Lisa Crausby is Principal Improvement Director at Academy Transformation Trust, a multi-academy trust committed to transforming the learning opportunities and aspirations of pupils.

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