Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 12th November 2012


Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer


Performance Report for the End of Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 and 3


Purpose of the Report

1.             To update Members on School Performance.


1.          That Members note school performance.

2.          That Members identify any issues they wish to explore in more detail.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.          To ensure Members are aware of the performance of schools.

2.          To provide update reports on any issues raised.




2.          In general, the Vale of Glamorgan is advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation.

3.          The proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals is used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation. In 2010-11, 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.

4.          These findings indicate that the aggregated performance of Vale schools should be higher than for Wales as a whole and generally rank in the 5 highest performing authorities.

5.          Statutory 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.

6.          Teacher assessment is expressed in 'levels' at the end of each Key Stage and as an 'Outcome' at the end of the Foundation Phase

7.          National minimum expectations for pupils at the end of the Foundation Phase are to attain Outcome 5 and to attain levels 4 and 5 at the end of Key Stage 2 and 3 respectively.

8.          Performance data and comparisons for the more able pupils (+1 levels) will not be available until the end November 2012

Relevant Issues and Options

9.          See Appendix 1 for Data Summary and graphical representation.

10.        It is important to note that for the Foundation Phase in 2012 attainment is recorded in terms of Outcome Statements in contrast to previous years where it was recorded as end of Key Stage 1 teacher assessment levels.

11.        The nature of teacher assessment at the end of Foundation Phase for 2012 has also changed. It now records different aspects of a pupil's performance, so it is not possible to make direct comparisons with previous year's performance.

12.        Performance at the end of the Foundation Phase reflects the apparent decline observed for the rest of Wales. However, we must take note that it is not possible to make direct comparisons this year.

13.        However, whilst recognising that it is not possible to make direct comparisons this year with previous performance, there is clearly a need to maintain our work with schools to support them to raise standards, particularly in Welsh.

14.        Comparison with local Authorities across Wales, place Vale performance in the Foundation Phase well above the required 5th rank position.

15.        Performance at the end of Key Stage 2, for all indicators, demonstrate a healthy increase on previous performance.

16.        Comparison with the all Wales performance trend, demonstrates that pupils in the Vale achieve better than pupils across Wales i.e. the performance gap with Wales has increased.

17.        Comparison with local Authorities across Wales, place Vale performance in Key Stage 2 and across the majority of indicators, well above the required 5th rank position.

18.        However, the lower rank position (5th) for the CSI and further analysis, has confirmed our understanding that relative underachievement in writing is the contributory factor to the lower performance observed. This is being addressed via the Big Write and individual school-based targeted support programmes.

19.        Performance at the end of Key Stage 3 and across the majority of indicators has flat-lined after demonstrating improvement last year.

20.        Vale performance in Key Stage 3 does not reflect the up-ward performance trend observed for Wales.

21.        Performance in the Vale at the end of Key Stage 3 now equates to that observed across Wales, but is below National performance for the Core Subject Indicator (CSI).

22.        Comparison with local authorities across Wales, place the Vale below its expected 5th rank position for a number of indicators

23.        Performance analysis reveals that within English in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 2 as well as the Foundation Phase, underachievement in writing is the contributory factor to under-attainment in English, the Core Subject Indicator (CSI) and in Reading, Writing and Maths in combination (RWM)

24.        These areas are of specific concern in Key Stage 3, where improvements observed last year have not been replicated this year.

25.        Individual schools are being targeted for support in Key Stage 3.

26.        The Council has also implemented support programmes, across all schools, to target improvements in standards in these specific areas i.e. writing, CSI, RWM in combination.

27.        The Big Write Programme is in its second year of roll-out and has supported schools to improve writing by approximately 4% in Key Stage 2. This has underpinned improvement in English, RWM and in the CSI in KS 2, as observed in 2012 end of Key Stage assessments.

28.        The Big Maths school support programme is in the last stage of roll-out to all schools. Performance data will be analysed next year to determine if standards have improved further.

29.        Throughout 2011/12 individual schools have also received targeted support in Big Maths and Big Write to ensure that strategies are embedded in practice

30.        Schools will continue to receive targeted support to improve writing and maths via the aforementioned programmes.

31.        Additionally, the Council has introduced a new local target for all schools which is Reading, Writing and Maths in combination (RWM).

32.        Also, local Authority-wide support for 2012/13 will be for mathematics at the +1 levels

33.        The need to improve standards in English (particularly writing) and Maths (particularly number) has been recognised and areas for development included in Service Plans.

34.        Individual school performance data has been scrutinised and schools identified for support and intervention accordingly.

35.        Identified schools will be supported and challenged through the targeted support programme as well as through the monitoring and challenge function of the Consortium Joint Education Service (JES)

36.        Further school performance information particularly for the +1 levels in all Key Stages and performance for Key Stage 4 including GCSE, A Level as well as School Banding, will be brought to scrutiny in December when data is officially finalised.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

37.        The local Authority's portion of the School Effectiveness Grant (SEG) will be used to fund support as identified in this report. The Council's financial contribution to the Joint Education Service will ensure schools are effectively monitored, challenged to improve, supported and provide intervention if required.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

38.        None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

40.        There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

41.        There are no equal opportunity implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

42.        Improving outcomes and wellbeing for all learners.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

44.        Not applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

45.        Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers



Contact Officer

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement


Officers Consulted

Meryl Plummer, Senior Systems Leader, Consortium Joint Education Service (JES)


Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer