Elastik launches to help schools tackle critical learning gaps across the UK
- Elastik will launch with over 100 UK schools and Multi Academy Trusts to address learning gaps created by the pandemic and inequalities in learning
- Insight from Elastik could be used to directly support teachers in the UK’s 55 educational ‘cold spots’ and the National Tutoring Programme as part of Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda
- Schools working with Elastik can complete a comprehensive analysis of student learning gaps in under two weeks
March 9th, 2022: Elastik, the pioneering analytics and assessment platform for schools, is launching in the UK to help schools and teachers urgently address gaps in learning that have been created or exacerbated by the pandemic. Designed by teachers, for teachers, Elastik maps student performance data against the national curriculum, so that teachers can quickly and easily pinpoint individual and class-wide learning needs. Elastik initially launched to help schools identify learning gaps in Western Australia in late 2020 and will now start working with over 100 schools and Multi Academy Trusts including the Astrea Academy Trust which has schools in South Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire.
Between March 2020 and April 2021, students across the UK missed on average over half a year of normal, in-person schooling. Ofsted reports significant delays in educational development as a result of remote learning, with Year 1 and Year 2 pupils falling behind in topics such as phonics knowledge, number and symbol recognition, and number bonds. The Department for Education has identified 55 ‘cold spots’ where education outcome is the weakest to target intensive investment. Bridging the learning gap in areas like these will be one of the key focuses of the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ policy. Teachers know that subjects missed, particularly at early stages, can fundamentally undermine teaching in later years where those topics need to be built upon. However, identifying precise gaps can be difficult and extremely time consuming to address accurately. With more than a quarter of teachers in England working more than 59 hours per week, record stress levels are being recorded.
Elastik is a custom-built, software platform for schools, which uses the school’s historic data or data from new assessments to provide accurate student learning insights as well as automating time consuming administration for teachers. Its proprietary analytics technology can identify student learning gaps from assessment data in under two weeks and map this to curriculum requirements at a granular level. From these insights, Elastik can develop detailed individual and class lesson plans for teachers to use as appropriate, delivering focus on areas that need addressing and saving essential time for teachers.
Jeremy Waters, Founder of Elastik, says: “As a former teacher, I understand all too well the simultaneous pressures and privileges of teaching. My priority when establishing Elastik was to give teachers easy access to the insights across their pupil cohorts, take away as much admin as possible and in turn support them to pursue their passion for teaching. Inequalities in learning are unfortunately not new, but as many in the sector will agree, gaps that were already there have been exacerbated by the pandemic and we are now at a crisis point across the vast majority of schools in the UK as teacher and pupil absences persist. To effectively address the government stated ‘expected standards’ in reading, writing and maths and to support children of all abilities to achieve their best, we must first establish where the specific learning gaps are so that teachers know where to focus their attention.”
Hywel Jones, from Astrea Academy Trust said: “Our mission is to deliver the best possible education to every child. While the pandemic has caused significant challenges for education, we are pleased to be participating in a pilot with Elastik, to help the children who have struggled with remote learning or had reduced levels of concentration and ensure they are supported. Having the insight as to what our children have either missed or not understood properly at any stage of their schooling plays a fundamental part in our ability as teachers to lay the right educational foundations for them.”
Paul Kinsella, Headteacher of St Monica’s Catholic Primary School in Liverpool said: “What I rate about Elastik is its ability to inform and empower our teaching. It pinpoints problem areas quickly and offers a real range of support, which teachers can use as they need to. The platform itself is extremely visual and easy to use, which means it has been rolled out quickly for staff to use without onerous IT or training requirements.”
Elastik launched in the UK in January 2022. Since January 2021, the platform has been used in Australia, where it now works with over 400 schools, 103,000 students and 13,971 teachers across the country to empower teaching staff to address unidentified gaps in their students’ curriculum-driven learning across Maths, English, and Science. Elastik delivers cutting edge technology, but was designed with the premise that technology cannot replace a teacher. Instead it uses AI (smart algorithms and machine learning) to free teachers from administrative burdens, give them insights on student development, and let them focus on what they do best – helping students grow. Elastik recognises the challenges facing schools today and provides support and expertise to the school and the teachers. Rapid implementation delivers benefits immediately and ongoing guidance ensures that the value grows as Elastik becomes embedded. Teachers in Australia describe their approach as game changing.