It’s been an exciting year at Mime! In 2023, we’ve welcomed another five new colleagues to the team, published exciting research, and supported several new clients with a range of new challenges.
Check out some of the highlights of our year below
1. Little Wandle continues to grow, now supporting 5,000 schools
This year, we’ve watched Little Wandle continue to grow at pace, adding new resources and explanding their programme to support more international schools, teacher training settings, English Hubs, as well as nurseries and early years settings. We have worked together on several important updates and developments to better support members on using the core phonics programme, including the brand new assessment data entry system. More developments are coming in 2024 and we look forward to continuing this journey!
2. Cost of living research
In 2023, we worked with the Open Data Institute and our partners at Allegory examining the existing data relating to the cost of living crisis, looking in particular at debt, housing, food and fuel. In September we published Cost of Living: How data can help tackle the crisis which reported how the crisis has disproportionately affected young people, who are facing financial difficulties across all four domains. However, the analysis reveals gaps and inconsistencies in the data, with certain individuals and groups being missed completely and disparities in how data are captured by different organisations. Alongside the report, we published two data explorer tools, which we hope you find useful!
3. SEND and inclusion analysis
We have continued to focus on young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) this year. We’re supporting local authorities across the country with our SEND Dashboard service to better monitor, plan and improve their SEND services. We have also further developed our SEND projections modelling tool, including allowing it to be used to inform both local authority school capacity (SCAP) returns and DfE Safety Valve plan submissions. Finally, last month, we started a really exciting research project, commissioned by London Councils, to explore inclusion of young people with SEND in London’s schools. This will include analysis of data from the National Pupil Database and interviews with young people, their parents, teachers and local authority stakeholders. Look out for the report when it’s published next summer!
4. Higher education impact analysis
This year we published the first phase of our work with TASO, the What Works Centre for higher education (HE), an evidence review of the existing research and makes recommendations for further work. We’re also increasingly focussed on exploring the data around widening participation in HE. This year, we looked at student level data from the HE access tracker to explore the impact of access projects on progression to HE and subject choices made. We’ll be looking out for opportunities to support universities, Uni Connect partnerships and other charities with similar research and analysis.
Highlights from the Mime blog
- In March, we published our response to the government’s SEND and AP Improvement Plan. While the Improvement Plan is a positive step, with some sensible suggestions to move towards a SEND and AP system that works more effectively, we have serious concerns about implementation. Aside rom funding concerns, the implementation roadmap extends to 2025 and beyond, with a General Election due in the meantime, meaning there are clear risks that it will not be implemented in full.
- We continued our on-the-day analysis of exams, and published tools to analyse GCSE and A level results. The tools allow you to explore grades by subject as well as see the change from previous years. As expected, overall outcomes are in line with Ofqual’s intentions, with outcomes falling from previous years to be more in line with 2019 levels.
- Following the success of our look at pupil absence in 2022, we explored how suspensions have grown following the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw thousands more suspensions this autumn term compared to pre-pandemic, with larger growth among pupils with SEND and those eligible for free school meals.
Supporting our community
We have made a donation on behalf of our team and partners to Bede, a local charity working to address community needs across four focus areas – learning disabilities, youth, domestic violence, and community. This donation was inspired by our work around inclusion of young people with learning disabilities and other special educational needs or disabilities in our education system. In particular, the Bede Centre provides a place where people with learning disabilities can develop skills, expand social circles and help other people.
Our plans for 2024
Over 2024, we will be expanding our analysis and insight offer around schools, SEND, and higher education. We also have some really exciting social research and evaluation work that we will be publishing in 2024, so watch this space! Finally, we hope to continue to grow our amazing team, so do keep an eye on our jobs page. We look forward to continuing to work with you in 2024, and we wish you a restful festive period and a very happy new year!
Get in touch if you would like to hear more about any of these projects, products or services