Understanding of the Equity and Excellence Lead role
Responses to the survey suggested that the EE Leads, staff and Heads/Managers interviewed had a good understanding of the Equity and Excellence Lead role. Table 1 below shows the majority of Leads felt their role is well understood by both the leadership (34 out of 37 agreed or strongly agreed) and other practitioners/teachers (32 out of 37 agreed or strongly agreed) in their settings.
|My role is well understood by the leadership in my setting(s)||My role is well understood by practitioners/teachers in my setting(s)|
Table 2 shows Setting Heads/Managers share this view: 34 out of 37 agree or strongly agree the role is understood in their setting.
|The EE lead role is well understood by other practitioners/teachers within my setting(s)|
Leads and Heads were further asked the following open question: What do you think the key purpose(s)/aim(s) of the Equity and Excellence Lead role is in your setting(s)? The most common theme to emerge in their answers was the need for Leads to address the attainment gap and support the most disadvantaged children and families. Responses included:
'… closing the poverty attainment gap and to ensure that all children are given the same opportunities and experiences regardless of their background…'
'…to reduce the poverty related attainment gap, build resilience and wellbeing, lifelong positive outcomes'.
'… to raise attainment in Literacy and English. To provide support to other staff in doing the same. Working as part of a team, leading the team. Building strong relationships with families. Relationships with the wider community'.
Case Study 1 (linked to HSC Standards 3.13 and 4.2)
Benarty Primary School Nursery Class is provided by Fife council and delivers a day care service for up to 30 children aged from three years. The service operates from a dedicated nursery space within Benarty Primary School.
Lindsay Masterman is the EE Lead at Benarty Primary School. We spoke with Lindsay about how she shares her knowledge of good practice with staff to ensure children benefit from the learning opportunities available to them. Lindsay told us: "it is important that everyone is clear about expectations of high quality provision within the nursery." She told us she achieves this through her approach to leadership and modelling of good practice. A key aspect of this is to support staff to work with families to identify any barriers that may impact on children's learning. Building strong and trusting relationships with families working simultaneously, making decisions, looking at various supports and strategies along with next steps to get the best outcomes for children.
"To do this it is important that we recognise and emphasise the importance of working together with families. This ensures that next steps or targets are appropriate for the children and that they are engaged and interested in their learning journey. Through discussion and role modelling of good practice, staff are more confident in their approach and recognise and can take positive steps to minimising the barriers to learning that exist within Benarty Nursery and Community. Sharing information with parents allows parents to contribute and invite them in to feel part of Benarty Nursery Community. This gives both child and their parent a sense of belonging."
"I feel my role as an Equity and Excellence Lead allows me to support and empower the staff to become more confident and reflective practitioners. Through working in partnership with parents and other professionals it allows us to identify and implement strategies for their child's next steps".
We also spoke with Alison Pratt, the Depute Head teacher about her view of the contribution the EE Lead had made in respect of children's literacy. Through a review of available data for the nursery, it was clear there was a measurable increase in children's attainment in literacy since the introduction of the EE Lead role. The figures reviewed demonstrate that in 2019/20 all children on entering primary one were achieving average or above average scores in literacy.
Alison told us: "Lindsay has a key role in our Nursery Leadership Team. Her approach to target setting and information sharing with all stakeholders means children and families who face the biggest barriers to Education can make the most of their Early Learning and Childcare experience. This is reflected in the data we gather for P1 where our children now enter school more ready to learn. This impact can be directly linked to the role of The Equity and Excellence Lead working alongside colleagues to improve outcomes for some of our most vulnerable families."
Leads also mentioned the importance of their roles in supporting staff. Answers included:
'…to help empower staff to provide challenge for the children and parents within the setting. To act as a good role model for practitioners within the setting in order to up-skill and support their CPD development. To identify skills and abilities of the practitioners in order to support the children's learning and development in all areas of the curriculum'.
'… to lead on practice; role model; embed a pedagogical approach. Support children in the lowest SIMDs. And support all children within the setting.'
'… to work with the team to deliver quality and early learning development. Supporting the development of the curriculum to raise attainment. Helping and supporting others in enhancing children's wellbeing and nurture. Working with practitioners and parents/carers and management to support learning and help develop strategies to support learning. Help deliver with colleagues to raise attainment across the establishment'.