Schools: Teaching Methods

Education written question – answered on 7th March 2012.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Conservative, Kingswood

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of children in secondary schools were taught in classes with (a) streaming and (b) setting in each year since 1996-97; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Ofsted holds data on the number and proportion of lessons observed during inspections in which setting, streaming or banding by ability is used. Since the data are based on lessons seen by inspectors, they may not represent arrangements in the school as a whole, and may not therefore be an indicator of the use of these forms of grouping at a national level.

Ofsted has provided the data on the proportion of observed lessons in secondary schools from September 1996 to August 2011 which were taught in set or streamed classes. This includes all subjects except physical education. The data have been placed in the House Libraries.

The Department has not provided specific guidance to schools on setting. However, case studies showing the effective use of setting in schools are available on the Department's website:

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