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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 18 November, 2013

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

 

School Performance Report 2012/13 for end of Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and 3 and the National Reading and Numeracy tests.

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform members of School Performance and support commissioned to help them improve.

Recommendations

1.         That members note school performance and the support available to schools outlined in the School Support Programme.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure members are aware of the performance of our schools and support available to help them improve.

Background

2.         Statutory end of Key Stage Teacher Assessment (TA) is administered at the end of the Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3, when pupils are aged 7, 11 and 14 years old respectively.

3.         The National minimum expectations for pupils at the end of the Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2 and 3 are 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.

4.         Additionally, expectations for our more able pupils at the end of each phase are as follows: Outcome 6 at the end of the Foundation Phase, Level 5 at the end of Key Stage 2 and Levels 6 and 7 at the end of Key Stage 3.

5.         In general, the Vale of Glamorgan is advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation.  The proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (FSM) is used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation. In 2012 -13 the Vale ranked 4th lowest overall for the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (3rd lowest at primary level & 5th lowest at secondary level) i.e. it is relatively advantaged.  These findings indicate that the aggregated performance of Vale schools should be significantly higher than for Wales as a whole and always rank in the 5 highest performing local Authorities (LAs), as a minimum expectation.

6.         The Vale of Glamorgan Council's ambition for schools in the Authority is to be ranked first in Wales, at the highest position possible and to ensure that all schools' performance is benchmarked in the high or highest benchmarking positions when compared to similar schools.  Local Authority school benchmarking information i.e. the proportion of schools located in the high or highest benchmarking positions across the Authority, and how we are compared with the 22 LAs across Wales, will inform us of this.

7.         Additionally, the Welsh Government determined that all eligible learners in Year 2 to Year 9, in maintained schools, should undertake the National Reading and Numeracy Tests (“the Reading and Numeracy Testsâ€) in May 2013.  The Reading and Numeracy Tests were duly administered to all eligible pupils in Vale schools this year and the results are also included in this report

 Relevant Issues and Options

8.         When considering LA performance, the key indicators for consideration are as follows:

·           local Authority (LA) performance compared with the all Wales means and the LA performance compared to the top five highest performing LAs in Wales (Appendix 1 and 2);

·           LA performance trends over time, when compared with the all Wales means and prior performance;

·           the relative gap in performance between LA means and the all Wales means;

·           the spot rank position of the performance of the local Authority when compared with LAs across Wales; the spot rank, preferentially, should be in first position or, as a minimum, within the top five highest performing LAs in Wales;

·           for each indicator in each Phase, the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking positions when compared with similar schools and ranked against  LAs across Wales;.

9.         Generally, a school can be located in the top two quarters, or the high or highest benchmarking position in the group i.e. the highest two quarters, or in the lower to lowest two quarters. Relative performance of similar schools is then described as being either above or below the median i.e. either in the top 50%, or in the bottom 50%, of similar schools. (Appendix 3)

10.      Estyn places great emphasis on the need to ensure that at least 50% of schools across an LA, for each indicator within each phase, are located in the high or highest benchmarking positions, or above the median.

11.      Welsh Government uses this information to rank individual LAs according to the proportion of schools, in each LA, that are located above, or below the median. This is known as the LA School Benchmarking Rank comparative information.

12.      Progress in the Foundation Phase:

·           Standards, at Outcome 5 and for all PIs, have continued to improve

·           The proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters for all PIs has increased, particularly for Language, Literacy and Communication in English and Welsh and in Mathematical Development at Outcome 5

·           Standards in Outcome 6, for all PIs, have continued to improve with the exception of Welsh (27.5 to 27.8), but the proportion of schools benchmarked in the high or highest quarters has declined

13.      To secure greater improvement there is a need to:

·           Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters at Outcome 5, particularly PSD, LLCE, and FPOI.

·           Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters at Outcome 6, particularly LLCW, LLCE, MD and  PSD.

14.      Progress in Key Stage 2:

·           Standards have continued to improve at Level 4+, for English, Welsh, Science, CSI and RWM in combination, and decreased slightly in Maths

·           The proportion of schools, at L4+, performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, has increased significantly for all PIs with the exception of Maths which has declined

·           Standards have increased, at L5+, in KS2 for all PIs

·           However, the proportion of schools, at L5+, performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, has decreased since 2012 with the exception of Mathematics which has increased

15.      To secure greater improvement in standards in Key Stage 2 there is a need to:

·           Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at Level 4+ year on year, particularly Maths

·           Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at Level 5+ year on year

16.      Progress in KS 3:

·           Standards have improved significantly at L5+ in all PIs.

·           The LA rank positions for core subjects are all above the minimum expectation of 5th (using FSM as a proxy indicator). This is a significant improvement on the previous year 2012.

·           The proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at L5+, for all PIs has also improved significantly.

·           Standards have improved in K3 3 at L6+ in all PIs.

·           The proportion of schools, performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at L6+ has improved for Maths and Science, stayed at the same high level for Welsh, but remained the same at 38% for English.

·           Standards at L7+ have improved for English, Welsh and Maths but remained the same for Science and the CSI.

·           The proportion of schools at L7+ performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, with the exception of Welsh has remained static.

17.      The decline in standards in 2012 in KS 3 was recognised and reported in December 2012; the KS Improvement Strategy was implemented and standards have risen in 2013.

18.       To secure greater improvement in Key Stage 3 there is a need to:

·           Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at L5+, L6+ and L7 for all PIs, (with the exception of Welsh), but particularly so for English and Maths.

19.      All secondary schools need to perform well above their Free School Meals (FSM) predicted performance estimates, exceed Welsh Government Model estimates and the most challenging FFT estimates of predicted performance based on prior attainment.

20.      The need for on-going additional support and challenge will be a crucial feature of the improvement work in identified secondary schools, if standards are to continue to improve.

21.      Appendix 4 provides an overview of the Reading and Numeracy Test results for 2013.  The tests assess attainment in Reading and Numeracy and report in the form of an age standardised score (SS).  Scores are categorised to indicate relative competence across an ability range.  Scores of less than 85 are regarded as being below the national average range, while scores greater than 115 are regarded as being above the national average range.

22.      In reading, the proportion of pupils with a score of less than 85 is the second lowest in Wales, whilst the proportion of pupils reading above 115 is the second highest in Wales.

23.      In Maths, the data reveals a similar picture; ranked second for the proportion of pupils with a score less than 85 and greater than 115.

24.      Reading in Welsh ranks the Vale in first position with the lowest proportion of pupils reading in Welsh below a score of 85, and ranked third for the proportion of pupils with a score greater than 115.

25.      The breakdown for individual year groups reveals that, for reading in English:

·           the highest achieving year group in the Vale is Year 5, whilst the lowest is Year 7

·           for reading in Welsh; the highest achieving year group is Year 2 and the lowest is Year 8

·           in Numeracy; the highest achieving year group is Year 5 and the lowest is Year 8

26.      Additionally, the data is further broken down to individual school, year group and pupil level; such information is used to inform the targeted School Support Programme to improve reading and numeracy skills, on a school by school basis.

27.      The School Support Programme has been commissioned by the LA from the Joint Education Service (JES) and LINKs (Appendix 5).

28.      To secure further improvements the Schools Support Programme will need to be fully implemented and monitored closely.

29.      The LA element of the School Effectiveness Grant (SEG) is used to fund the programme as well as the LA's financial contribution to the Challenge, Monitor and Intervention (CMI) functions of the JES.

30.      The School Support Programme aims to combine nationally delivered support programmes i.e. National Support Programme for Literacy and Numeracy, Outstanding Teachers of Literacy and Numeracy, with the targeted approach for identified schools which is based on the Vale of Glamorgan's  LA performance profile, as outlined above.

31.      A large degree of coherence must be designed into the overall programme so that one element compliments and reinforces the other.

32.      Close monitoring of project roll out and implementation will be undertaken by the LA in conjunction with our partners in the JES.

33.      The School Support Programme, underpinned by the KS3 Improvement Strategy will constitute an important part of our forthcoming Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) as we continue in our work to raise standards and quality, for all our pupils in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

34.      Met within existing resources and the School Effectiveness Grant (SEG).

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

35.      High levels of pupil attainment underpin a sustainable economy.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

36.      End of Key Stage Assessment is a statutory obligation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

37.      There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

38.      There are no equal opportunity implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

39.      Improving outcomes and wellbeing for all learners.

Policy Framework and Budget

40.      The recommendations in this report are within the existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

41.      Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

42.      Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement.

Officers Consulted

Meryl Plummer, Lead Officer for School Improvement

Jane Holland, Strategic Lead for School Support, JES

Alison Winter, Grants Management Officer

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

 

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