Decision details

LOCYP - 1920028 Grant to New College Doncaster

Decision Maker: Director of Learning, Opportunities and Skills

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Only one of the interested schools meets the national rate for the achievement of grade 5 or above in English; and only two of them meet the national rate for the achievement of grade 4 or above.

The range for grade 5 or above is from 2.7% to -32.3%; the range for grade 4 or above is from 6.6% to -34.4%. In the four interested schools, the difference between the progress of disadvantaged students and the national rate for non-disadvantaged students is in a range from -0.06 to -1.41.

The interested schools cover a range of contexts and the priority for project leaders will be their voluntary engagement.

Metacognition and working memory are key components of the new Ofsted framework which will come into being in 2020/21.


To grant New College Doncaster £45,000 to deliver a project which will bring together 6 volunteer secondary schools to test the effectiveness of a Metacognition intervention with year 9 students.

The focus of the project will be retrieval practice, a key skill which links to a wider range of qualities including resilience and self-regulation. New College Doncaster are uniquely placed to deliver this as they have the materials and
expertise available to carry out the trial, given they use metacognition strategies within their current environment.

This project will test assumptions locally, building on research undertaken by the Education Endowment Foundation. If proven to be an effective method for Doncaster, individual schools may choose to adopt the approaches.

There are four key objectives:
to trial, test and evaluate strategies for developing memory and retrieval skills with a group of year 9 students in order to prepare them for the demands of GCSE assessment;

to establish ways of learning which will not only improve long-term memory but develop students’ ability to tackle challenging problems and difficulties within and between

to engage English teachers of year 9 students in the development of their skills in disciplined inquiry, subsequently extending this to teachers of other subjects and across
a wider range of schools;

to support schools in establishing and sustaining a culture of student independence and resilience, leading to sustainable change and improved outcomes.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1 - Going out to tender
Option 2 - Do nothing

Publication date: 10/06/2021

Date of decision: 12/11/2019

Accompanying Documents: