Two members of the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales (ADRC-W) team have been involved in the evaluation of an education network to help Wales’ brightest sixth formers achieve their academic potential.
ADRC-W Associate Director Rhys Davies and Research Associate Dr Suhaer Yunus were involved in the Seren Network Evaluation, which informed Welsh Government decisions about the criteria for young people’s participation as well as the design and delivery of the Seren in Wales.
As a result of the evaluation and the recommendations provided, Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, has announced a £3 million, two year investment to further develop the Welsh Government’s policy for more able and talented learners.
The funding will support a new national approach for identifying and supporting more able learners, backed with comprehensive new guidance. This will include a new definition for more able learners, supporting schools in this work and the expansion of the Seren Network to target younger learners.
From September, the Network will begin targeting learners before their GCSEs – connecting learners from different schools and communities and building on Seren’s existing links with leading global universities.
Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education set out three key principles to drive improvements:
• better identification and support at school, regional and national levels
• opportunities that will inspire the highest levels of achievement
• the development of evidence to support further investment and work.
What was involved in the evaluation of the Seren Network?
ADRC-W Associate Director Rhys Davies and Associate Researcher Dr Suhaer Yunus explored the suitability and viability of a number of administrative data sources which could be used to assess the effectiveness of the Seren Network; how these data sets could be configured to follow the educational progress of success cohorts of students and provided advice on both the practical and methodological issues that would need to be considered ahead of conducting a full impact evaluation of the SEREN Network based upon linked administrative data.
The team looked at how the data sets could be configured to follow the educational progress of success cohorts of students.
More about the Seren Network
Seren is a network of regional hubs designed to support Wales’ brightest sixth formers achieve their academic potential and gain access to leading universities. The Seren Network:
• inspires students about future career aspirations – nurturing Wales’ talented students to give them the best possible education and training and make the most of the opportunities available to them.
• stretches and challenges students in the subjects they enjoy – attending subject-specific workshops to extend their depth of knowledge and creating a peer group of high achieving, like-minded students who are passionate about their subject.
• links students with leading UK universities, providing information on university courses and advice on how to choose between them. Also providing information on university summer schools, workshops and other activities taking place across the UK which might be of interest. There are also opportunities to interact directly with university staff and tutors and current undergraduates.
• provides hands-on support and advice – in preparation of UCAS applications and for university interviews and assessments, with mock interviews and feedback sessions.
• supports schools and teachers in providing the best information, advice and activities for their high achieving students.
For more information on the Seren Network Evaluation visit: