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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 18th February 2013

 

Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

Progress Report for Oakfield Primary School

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide Elected Members with information about the progress being made at the school in relation to their Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP).

Recommendations

1.             That Members note the progress and raise any further issues for consideration.

2.             To recommend the report to Cabinet.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure that Members are kept fully informed about progress being made against the PIAP.

2.             To ensure that Cabinet are kept fully informed about progress being made against the PIAP.

Background

2.             Oakfield Primary School was inspected in June 2011 and was placed in a category of requiring special measures in order to secure the improvements necessary.

3.             Governors of the school have produced initial and revised Post Inspection Action Plans (PIAP) previously presented to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee.

4.             The Council will continue to provide support to the school to ensure that progress continues and the school is removed from Special Measures within a reasonable timeframe. The support and challenge will be provided by the regional Joint Education Service (JES) on behalf of the Council. The Council will monitor progress against the Post inspection action plan (PIAP) and provide the subsequent progress report to scrutiny and cabinet towards the start of the Summer term 2013, which will coincide with Estyn’s next termly visit to the school.

5.             The Local Authority has implemented its Support and Monitoring Plan which identifies how it will work with the school to secure progress against the PIAP. This has been presented and discussed in previous progress reports.

6.             Progress reports are presented to Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet at half termly intervals in accordance with agreed protocol.

7.             Estyn has re-visited the school every term since the initial inspection. Post visit progress reports have been presented to Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet.

8.             The school continues to make progress in accordance with the recommendations set out in the Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP)

9.             Estyn re-visited the school on 4th December 2012.

10.           The letter from Estyn, outlining the work of the school to date, is appended in Appendix 1.

Relevant Issues and Options

11.        The school has continued to make progress against each of the recommendations since the last visit. The acting head teacher is continuing to initiate further important developments. The governing body continues to support the school effectively and is making difficult decisions in respect of important staffing issues.

Progress since the last inspection

12.        Recommendation 1: Raise standards in literacy across the curriculum

·         This recommendation has been partly addressed.

·         The most recent figures show all pupils make steady progress in improving their reading skills. The majority of pupils in the Foundation Phase and most pupils in key stage 2 have reading ages above their actual ages.

·         End-of-year assessment outcomes for language, literacy and communication in the Foundation Phase are positive, with 71% of pupils achieving the expected outcome 5 or above in 2012. This is slightly above the average for the family of similar schools. Twenty six per cent of pupils achieved above the expected outcome which is significantly above the average for the family.

·         In key stage 2, the 2012 end-of-year teacher assessments in English indicate a significant increase in the proportion of pupils achieving the expected level 4.

·         However, standards in writing remain an area for development.

13.        Recommendation 2: Plan the curriculum to develop pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills more coherently and systematically and make sure it meets statutory requirements

·         This recommendation has been fully addressed.

·         The systems and structures for planning lessons are now firmly in place. Teachers plan well for the long, medium and short term using a common format. This is improving the consistency in planning between classes. Teachers often plan literacy work well and in considerable detail. For example, plans for different ability groups have a clear focus on relevant and specific learning outcomes. This is enabling many of the more able pupils in upper key stage 2 to make better progress.

14.        Recommendation 3: Provide effective and consistent leadership at all levels

·         This recommendation has been partly addressed.

·         The school is addressing many of the weaknesses identified in the inspection in a systematic and coherent way, and this is leading to improvements in standards and teaching, particularly in the Foundation Phase. However, continuing uncertainties in staffing are making it difficult to sustain the rate of progress in improving the quality and impact of leadership, particularly in key stage 2.

15.        Recommendation 4: Provide training for all staff so they can develop their professional skills and experience excellent teaching and learning in other schools and settings

·         This recommendation has been largely addressed.

·         The school continues to implement a programme of continuous professional development for all staff. Development activities are starting to have a positive impact on classroom practices, particularly in Foundation Phase classes, where the teaching is generally good. Staff training for literacy intervention programmes is highly effective in improving pupil outcomes for identified groups of learners. The school is beginning to work with other local schools to share good practice in meeting the specific literacy needs of pupils. Members of staff benefit from regular opportunities to visit other educational settings to broaden their professional knowledge and experience.

16.        Recommendation 5: Manage resources more efficiently and effectively to ensure value for money

·         This recommendation has been fully addressed.

·         The school continues to manage its resources very efficiently and spends within the allocated budget.

·         The school accesses substantial funding from various grants which it spends appropriately to support literacy and information and communications technology development. The creation of a new library provides pupils with an attractive well-resourced reading area. The school allocates significant funding from the Pupil Deprivation Grant to support the speech and language skills of very young pupils. Pupils use recently developed outdoor areas well to enhance their learning.

17.        Recommendation 6: Improve the governing body’s understanding of benchmarked performance data to increase the level of scrutiny and challenge it provides

·         This recommendation has been fully addressed.

·         The work of the governing body and its knowledge of the school continues to improve.

·         The role of link governors is developing well. Several governors have visited the school to discuss issues with key members of staff and have informed all governors of their findings. These strategies are improving governors’ first-hand knowledge of the work of the school.

18.        Recommendation 7: Establish rigorous systems to evaluate the school’s strengths and weaknesses

·         This recommendation has been fully addressed.

·         Senior leaders routinely gather evidence from direct classroom observations, scrutinise pupils’ work, analyse data and gather the opinions of staff, pupils and governors.

19.        Recommendation 8: Align self-evaluation and school improvement planning in order to improve standards and the effective use of resources

·         This recommendation has been fully addressed.

·         The outcomes of the school’s self-evaluation processes have been shared with staff and governors and, as a result, they are clear about the school’s main areas for improvement.

20.        The school will now need to continue to work to address the remaining areas for development in the PIAP.

21.        The future of the substantive Headteacher has been fully resolved.

22.        Estyn will re-visit the school towards the end of the Spring Term 2013.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

23.        Funding from within allocated budget.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

24.        None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

25.        None.

Crime and Disorder Implications

26.        None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

27.        None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

28.        None.

Policy Framework and Budget

29.        None.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

30.        None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

31.        Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee

Background Papers

Estyn Guidance on the inspection of schools

Contact Officer

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Officers Consulted

Meryl Plummer, Senior System Leader CSC and Estyn School Inspector

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer, Vale of Glamorgan Council