Training was firmly rooted in EEF guidance on the principles of effective implementation and evaluation, early communication, SEND, supporting children’s early reading/writing and early numeracy, parental engagement andcascading learning.
The virtual delivery model proved to be very popular with EYILs, enabling them to log in from their setting, eliminating the need to travel to/from a training venue and therefore minimising required release time from ratios.
Following the successful delivery of foundation training from the Research School, EYILs were equipped with the skills and knowledge to effectively implement and track the impact of their projects.
Survey data found:
- 85% felt the quality of training was good/excellent
- 79% felt the amount & frequency of training was about right
- 73% felt the training was appropriate to their needs
EYILs noted the many benefits of coming together regularly to collaborate, share learning and expertise. Leads found that network meetings were most useful in supporting them with drafting action plans, selecting appropriate intervention approaches, identifying suitable training providers, increasing staff buy-in and monitoring impact.
EYILs formed an active community of like-minded professionals, regularly meeting to share their experiences and gain support.
Survey data found:
- 82% were keen that the network continues beyond 21-22
- 68% felt that the opportunity to be part of a network was quite important, 20% felt this was very important
The planning and delivery timeline for the project proved to be hugely successful. EYILs were identified, and their ring-fenced release time agreed with setting managers in May/June 2021, prior to beginning their roles in September 2021. This meant that leads across all participating settings were free to attend training and network sessions throughout the year, which aided collaboration.
EYIL reported that ring-fenced time enabled them to undertake duties which were invaluable to the success of their projects, which enhanced the quality of teaching & learning and helped improve outcomes for children.
The training calendar was shaped in partnership with the Research School Network, with delivery of sessions beginning in September 2021.
Impact of Covid:
High levels of staff absences proved challenging, meaning that EYILs were sometimes absent from work, needed in ratio during their ring-fenced EYIL time or unable to conduct face-to-face collaborative activities as originally planned due to social-distancing.