Agenda Item No. 5

 

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

LEARNING AND CULTURE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 12 FEBRUARY 2018

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 22 JANUARY 2018

 

C200     SCHOOL PERFORMANCE REPORT 2016-2017: FOUNDATION PHASE AND KEY STAGES 2 TO 5 (LC) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LEARNING AND CULTURE) -

 

Cabinet was informed of pupil attainment and school performance outcomes.

 

Statutory end of Key Stage Teacher Assessment (TA) was administered at the end of the Foundation Phase, key stage 2 and key stage 3, when pupils were aged 7, 11 and 14 years old respectively. The national minimum expectations for pupils at the end of the Foundation Phase and key stages 2 and 3 were as follows: outcome 5 at the end of the Foundation Phase, level 4 at the end of key stage 2 and level 5 at the end of key stage 3.   Additionally, expectations for our more able pupils at the end of each phase were as follows: Outcome 6 or above at the end of the Foundation Phase, level 5 or above at the end of key stage 2 and levels 6 and 7 at the end of key stage 3.

In relation to external examinations at key stages 4 and 5, the report outlined performance for the below measures. Attached at Appendix 1 to the report were changes which came into effect in 2017/2018).

 

  • The core subject indicator (CSI); the proportion of pupils attaining a GCSE A* - C in the core subjects of English, Welsh, mathematics and science.
  • Level 2 threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to C.
  • Level 2+ (L2+) threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to C including mathematics, English language or Welsh language. This was the government's preferred measure of educational attainment.
  • English GCSE level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining English GCSE A* to C.
  • Maths GCSE level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining mathematics GCSE A* to C.
  • Science GCSE level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining science GCSE A* to C.
  • A Level; the level 3 indicator measured the proportion of pupils attaining 2 or more A levels A - E. 

It was noted that Welsh Government had introduced key changes to the performance measures in 2016-2017 which affected any possible comparisons that may be made against previous data. Therefore, caution should be used with comparing 2016-2017 outcomes with previous years.  The main changes were: 

  • The introduction of a cap of 40% of non-GCSEs that contributed to threshold measures;
  • The removal of literature for the level 2 threshold including English / Welsh and mathematics;
  • The introduction of the new specifications for English, Welsh, mathematics and numeracy;
  • A new Capped 9 points score measure which included GCSEs in English or Welsh language, mathematics and numeracy, 2 science qualifications and four other qualifications which could be GCSEs, vocational qualifications or the new Welsh Baccalaureate. 

In general, the Vale of Glamorgan was advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation. The proportion of pupils eligible to receive free school meals (eFSM) was used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation. In 2016-17, the Vale ranked 5th lowest overall for the proportion of pupils eligible to receive free school meals. These findings indicated that the aggregated performance of Vale schools should be significantly higher than for Wales as a whole and always ranked as fifth highest performing Local Authority (LA), as a minimum expectation.

 

Progress in the Foundation Phase:

The positive trend in improving standards continued for the majority all indicators at outcome 5, the exceptions being literacy, language and communication in English (LCE) and mathematical development (MDT). Following a cumulative increase of 1.8 percentage points (pp) from 2014-2016, MDT dipped by -0.5pp in 2017. LCE dipped by -0.9pp although remained the highest in the region and was detailed in Appendix 2 attached to the report. Performance at outcome 6 had increased measurably for all indicators, most notably in LCE where attainment had improved by a further 4.6pp.  Performance at outcome 6 had been a continued focus for improvement and the impact of the support and challenge to schools had resulted in significant gains over the last three years.

 

Progress in Key Stage 2:

Improvements in attainment at Level 4 had been made in all performance measures except science which dipped by -0.2pp and was detailed in Appendix 2 attached to the report. The greatest improvement was in Welsh, and at 96.7%, was the highest of all core subjects.     With the exception of Welsh, performance at level 5+ had risen again for the fifth consecutive year. Most notable were the improvements in science which improved by 7.1pp. Mathematics and English also improved by 6.1pp and 5.2pp respectively. Welsh was the now the lowest performing core subject at level 5+.

 

Progress in Key Stage 3:

At KS3 standards remained strong, having risen yet again in English, mathematics and the CSI, these were detailed in Appendix 2 attached to the report. The highest performing of the core subjects were Welsh (95.6%) and Science (95.7%). All indicators at the expected level ranked the Vale of Glamorgan at fourth or higher when compared to other local authorities, detailed at Appendix 3 attached to the report.

 

Progress at Key Stage 4:

Performance in the L2+ indicator decreased by 6.7pp to 60.4% but remained the highest in the CSC and higher than the Wales average of 54.6%. However, the performance of eFSM pupils fell sharply and the gap had widened from 25.2pp to 35.8pp. This was detailed in Appendix 4 attached to the report. Overall, the Vale of Glamorgan was ranked fourth when compared to other local authorities in this key indicator. When considering the L2+ performance of eFSM pupils, there were three schools where fewer than 35% of these pupils achieved the L2+ threshold: St Cyres (22.9%), Barry Comprehensive (19.4%), and Bryn Hafren (22.2%). The best performing school with regard to this indicator was Cowbridge (63.6%) although this was 22pp lower than in 2016, detailed in Appendix 5 attached to the report.

 

Progress at Key Stage 5:

The percentage of pupils achieving the level 3 threshold decreased slightly from 98.3% to 98.1%. This was detailed at Appendix 6 attached to the report. All students in Bryn Hafren Comprehensive, Cowbridge Comprehensive and Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg achieved the level 3 threshold.

 

Schools causing concern and the use of powers of intervention:

Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School was judged by Estyn as requiring significant improvement in March 2016 and was re-visited in May 2017. Despite making strong progress in certain areas such as assessment, the school was judged to have made insufficient improvement in other key indicators such as L2 English which dropped to 52% from 65%. In addition, the percentage of eFSM pupils attaining L2+ remained unacceptably low at 17%. Estyn was likely to revisit the school during the current academic year. The school remained subject to a formal warning notice.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the pupil attainment and school performance outcomes, based in the case of GCSE and A level examinations on provisional data, be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T in accordance with the School Standards and Organisation Act (2013), it be noted a formal warning notice was issued in 2015 and extended during the academic years 2016/17 and 2017/18 to Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School to include the appointment of two additional governors. 

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

 

(4)       T H A T the changes in key stage 4 performance measures be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the attainment of pupils and the performance of schools in 2016/17.

 

(2)       To note that the full powers available to the authority were being used to improve schools that were underperforming, in accordance with the School Standards and Organisation Act (2013).

 

(3)       To enable scrutiny of school performance outcomes.

 

(4)       To note the changes and resulting implications for comparative purposes.

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 22 JANUARY 2018