As I noted when I wrote about on Estyn's new ESDGC report, the headlines were mostly very positive. When you look at the detail of the report, and at the recommendations, however, things look less rosy:
Estyn’s recommendations are that
- improve pupils’ understanding of the more complex ESDGC concepts identified in this report, including those relating to identity and culture;
- plan for the progressive development of pupils’ understanding of the seven ESDGC themes across the curriculum, and assess and track pupils’ development;
- plan for ESDGC to make a positive contribution to developing pupils’ literacy and numeracy;
- provide a variety of extra-curricular opportunities to support ESDGC;
- identify members of staff to have responsibility for co-ordinating and developing ESDGC across the school;
- provide appropriate training for teachers and other staff to help them to deliver ESDGC more effectively, including its more complex concepts; and
- ensure that governors receive training to enable them to support and challenge the school in delivering ESDGC.
Local authorities / regional consortia should:
- establish a directory of providers with good practice in ESDGC, which can be shared with schools; and
- provide training for governors to enable them to support and challenge schools appropriately in respect of ESDGC.
That is quite an agenda – significant room for improvement, you might say.
There's another thing that struck me about the whole report: how little it says about an emphasis on ESDGC coinciding with a school's being successful. This is odd as it is received wisdom (at least amongst those who want it to be true) that a strong focus on things such as ESD[GC] will help a school be successful, not just in terms that ESTYN and OFSTED would understand, but also more generally. In point of fact, this linkage is used to persuade schools to take up ESD[GC] in the first place and to become 'sustainable'.
ESTYN's silence on this is quite deafening.