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Termly trends: preparing for reforms

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What can we learn from how our members have used The Key for School
Leaders over the past term? Looking at our data on the articles they've viewed, it seems that school leaders are focused on new policy, reflecting the government’s wide-ranging reforms.

The area of our website with articles on government policies and legislation was the most popular in spring 2014. It was also the area where article views increased most from autumn 2013 to spring 2014 – they more than doubled.

This doesn't tell us too much in itself, but investigating further, we see clear areas of focus.

Last term, almost half of the article views in this area of the website were related to the changes to the National Curriculum. In fact, our article comparing the current and new curriculum accounted for one third of all views in this area, and our article on what will replace National Curriculum levels from September 2014 accounted for a further 12%.

This trend is also reflected in the growth in interest in The Key’s articles on the primary curriculum post-September 2014. For spring term, their share of total article views more than doubled. At the same time, the share for our articles on curriculum policies increased by 39%.

Returning to the data on our articles on government policies and legislation, we also see a second trend. A fifth of all article views in this area of the website were related to another significant reform: changes to support for pupils with special educational needs (SEN).

Our article on the draft SEN Code of Practice was the second most popular on the website from January to March. And the share of total article views for the area of our website on managing SEN provision increased by 50% in spring 2014 compared with the previous term.

Our data suggests that school leaders have been preparing for these big changes. As these reforms move from policy to practice in the new school year, I’d expect to see fewer article views related to legislation, and more of our members looking for practical advice on implementation.

For more information on how we analyse data, visit the ‘Our data’ page of this blog.

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