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THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

CABINET: 1ST JUNE, 2015

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 20TH APRIL, 2015

“1137    SCHOOL MID-YEAR ATTENDANCE REPORT (DLS) –

The report provided Members with information about school attendance and was a mid-year report detailing early information regarding attendance in advance of the end of year academic report.

In presenting the report, the Lead Officer for Inclusion advised that the majority of schools in the Vale have adopted the Callio model to ensure there was a whole school and Vale Local Authority approach to improving attendance.  Secondary schools had also accessed additional funding to improve the engagement of pupils with attendance between 80% and 92% including pupils in Year 6 in their feeder primary schools. 

Committee was further informed that the Education Welfare Service worked with pupils with attendance below 80% to improve the attendance of persistent absentees.  The most recent available comparative data showed persistent absenteeism (under 80%) had reduced from 5.8% of secondary pupils in 2011/2 to 4.2% in 2013/14.  Over this period the Vale’s ranking improved from 8th to 6th. 

Over the previous three years, it was noted that Vale primary school attendance had improved and when compared with other Local Authorities, the Vale had improved its ranked position.

 

Year

All Wales

Primary

Attendance

Vale Primary

Attendance

Vale

Position
2011/12 93.8% 94.5% 6
2012/13 93.7% 94.2% 6
2013/14 94.8% 95.3% 4

The 2013/14 benchmark positions for primary schools had recently been released with 28 of Vale primary schools in the upper quarters and 20 schools in the lower quarters.

When compared with the previous year, 13 schools had improved their benchmark positions, including Colcot who had moved from the 4th to the 1st quarter.

Primary Benchmark Positions 13/14

 

Benchmark Position Number of Schools
Quarter 1 8
Quarter 2 20
Quarter 3 11
Quarter 4 9

Colcot, Cadoxton, Murch, Eagleswell, Evenlode, Nant Talwg, Pendoylan and St. David's schools were also in the top benchmark quarter for 2013/14.

Of the 48 primary schools, 13 had improved their benchmark position in comparison with the previous year and 20 maintained the same position.  15 schools had a lower benchmark position in 2013/14 when compared with the previous year.

 

Year All Wales

Secondary

Attendance

Vale

Secondary

Attendance
Vale
Position
2011/12 92.2% 92.7% 7
2012/13 92.6% 93.3% 4
2013/14 93.6% 94.2% 4

Secondary schools in the lowest quarter for attendance in the previous year had been visited by the Lead for Behaviour and Attendance and the Senior Education Welfare Officer. Discussions with staff in Barry Comprehensive, Bryn Hafren and Bro Morgannwg had considered school systems and how the Education Welfare Service could further support the work of the school in raising attendance.  As a consequence, action plans had been established to improve attendance.

All secondary schools set ambitious targets for the year.  Unverified attendance data for the Autumn term 2014 showed that three schools Barry Comprehensive, Cowbridge and Stanwell were performing as well or better than their target.

In order to achieve the target, Bryn Hafren needed to make the largest improvement this year (1.3%).  St. Richard Gwyn needed to improve attendance by only 0.1% to achieve their target.  St. Cyres needed to improve by 0.2% and both Llantwit Major and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg needed to improve by 0.5% over the next two terms.

In response to a query regarding fixed penalty notices and whether any had been issued, the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion advised that one fixed penalty notice was currently being processed. 

In response to a question as to whether there had been much resistance to the new attendance policy, Members were advised that it had been broadly accepted and welcomed. Members who were Governors of schools advised that the policy had been taken seriously by Headteachers and Governing Bodies in their schools. 

In response to a query as to whether future reports could include school by school data, the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion advised that this information would be available within the end of year report which was to be presented to the Scrutiny Committee by October 2015, following which it was subsequently

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the improved level of attendance in 2014/15 in the majority of schools within the Vale of Glamorgan and the current level of school attendance from September to December 2014 be noted.

(2)    T H A T it be noted that the Scrutiny Committee would receive a further report in October 2015 detailing end of year performance.

(3)    T H A T the report be referred to the Cabinet for consideration in recognition of the increase in school attendance and the improvements being made.

Reasons for recommendations

(1)    To apprise Members.

(2)    To keep school attendance under close review and to continue to inform future policy and practice.

(3)    To advise Cabinet of the improved level of attendance in 2013/14 in the majority of schools and provide details of the current level of school attendance from September to December 2014.”

Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 20th April, 2015
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