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Events, Seminars

Achievement for All: Improving Outcomes for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Fri, 23 Nov 2012)

Friday 23rd November 2012 – 12noon until 2pm (with lunch)

Seminar room, G306b, Ground Floor, Jean McFarlane Building, University Place, Oxford Road, University of Manchester

Overview:  This seminar will explore the main findings and key implications of our national evaluation of the Achievement for All (AfA) programme.  The aim of AfA is to improve a range of outcomes for learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  It was piloted in more than 450 schools across 10 Local Authorities in England from 2009-2011.  There were three main strands: (1) Assessment, tracking and intervention, (2) Structured conversations with parents, and (3) Provision for developing wider outcomes(attendance, behaviour, bullying, positive relationships and wider participation).

The main aims of our national evaluation were to examine the impact of AfA on a variety of outcomes for learners with SEND, and to find out what implementation processes and practices were most effective in improving those outcomes. We used a research design that incorporated quantitative and qualitative components.  The quantitative component, which yielded data on over 4,000 students, focused primarily upon impact and consisted of teacher surveys, parent surveys, attendance and academic attainment data, and school level surveys/data.  In some of our analyses (e.g. academic attainment) we were able to compare data for students in AfA schools to national averages for students with and without SEND.  In other analyses (e.g. behaviour) were able to compare data for learners in AfA schools to those in comparison schools.  The qualitative component of the research focused primarily on implementation and included longitudinal case studies of 20 AfA schools (including case profiles of students in each school).  Our findings indicated that AfA had a significant impact upon both academic and wider (e.g. behaviour, positive relationships) outcomes.   Effect sizes ranged from small to very large, but in all cases were of a magnitude likely to be practically meaningful.  More information about the AfA report can be found here:  These positive outcomes were mediated by a range of implementation processes and practices, including fidelity and dosage of structured conversations with parents, and the frequency of teacher and parent involvement in reviewing academic targets.  These findings will be examined and their implications for policy and practice will be discussed.  You can find out more about AfA here:

Who should attend: This seminar would be of interest to anyone with an interest in integrated models of intervention in childhood and adolescence, evaluation research and/or special educational needs and disabilities.


12noon            Arrival and lunch

12.30pm          Welcome – Dr Alison Alborz, School of Education, University of Manchester.

12.45pm          Keynote presentation: Prof. Neil Humphrey and Dr. Garry Squires,
School of Education, University of Manchester

1.30pm            Discussion

2.00pm            Close

About the child health research network:  CHRN, founded in 2004, is an interdisciplinary group of 140 members from across the University of Manchester, our partner NHS trusts, city council and social care organisations who share expertise and ideas, holding regular workshops developing new research proposals. More information about the network at:

To join the network: Contact Rebecca Jones, Co-ordinator – Health Sciences, University of Manchester, IHS HQ G303 University Place, Oxford Road Manchester M13 9PL rebecca.l.jones [at] Tel: 0161 275 7657

To register for this FREE workshop contact Jane Mann, Secretary – Health Sciences, University of Manchester, IHS HQ G303 University Place, Oxford Road Manchester M13 9PL jane.mann [at] Tel: 0161 306 7900




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