Agenda Item No. 8
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 14th October 2013
Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer
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 update Members on School Performance and support for schools.
1. That Members note school performance and improvement relative to our socio - economic position of advantage and to also note the support available to schools outlined in the School Support Programme.
2. That Members refer to Cabinet and identify any issues they would wish to explore in more detail.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To ensure Members are aware of the performance of our schools and support available to help them improve.
2. To assure Members that schools are effectively supported and challenged to improve further.
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.
6. The proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (FSM) (see Glossary of Terms) 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 and 5th lowest at secondary level) i.e. it is relatively advantaged.
7. 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.
8. 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. This applies to all Key Stages, from the Foundation Phase to Key Stage 4 and 5 at the National minimum expectation, and at the +1 levels for our more able pupils.
9. 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.
10. This measure was an important consideration in our recent Estyn inspection of Education Services for Children and Young People (LAESCYP) which was based on 2012 performance data.
11. Performance at Key Stage 4 will be reported to scrutiny when National benchmarking information for schools is finalised in November 2013.
12. 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 (â€œthe Reading and Numeracy Testsâ€) in May 2013.
13. The Welsh Government in implementing the tests expected them to replace rather than supplement any proprietary reading and numeracy tests currently used for annual, summative purposes in schools in Wales.
14. 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
15. 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; as a minimum, Vale performance should be in the top five highest performing LAs in Wales, due to our socio-economic position of relative advantage; our ambition is to be ranked first in Wales on all measures (Appendix 1, 2 and 3)
· LA performance trends over time, when compared with the all Wales means and prior performance. This should show improvement over time
· the relative gap in performance between LA means and the all Wales means; the gap should be widening;
· 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 in the Vale performing in the high or highest benchmarking positions when compared with similar schools and ranked against LAs across Wales; schools are grouped together according to their FSM rating. The performance of the group is then categorised into quarters. An individual school's performance is then located in one of the quarters when compared with similar schools in the group. This process gives rise to the school's benchmarking position.
16. 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 4 & 7)
17. 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.
18. 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 also known as the 'cigar charts'. This is also an important indicator for Estyn.
19. The analysis below refers to the most recent school performance data for 2013.
20. Note - the Estyn LAESCYP Report 2013 and recommendations refer to school performance data for 2012.
21. 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 on the previous year, with the exception of Welsh (27.5 to 27.8), but the proportion of schools benchmarked in the high or highest quarters has declined
22. 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.
23. 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
24. 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
25. 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. It will be important to ensure all secondary schools continue to improve.
· 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.
26. 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. However, going forward, there is a need to secure greater improvements at all levels.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. Appendix 5a and 5b provides an overview of the Reading and Numeracy Test results for 2013.
31. The tests assess attainment in Reading and Numeracy and report in the form of an age standardised score (SS).
32. Scores are categorised to indicate relative competence across an ability range.
33. 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.
34. The Vale has been ranked against the 22 local Authorities in Wales.
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. 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
39. 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.
40. The School Support Programme has been commissioned by the LA from the Joint Education Service (JES) and LINKs (Appendix 6).
41. To secure further improvements the Schools Support Programme will need to be fully implemented and monitored closely.
42. 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.
43. The School Support Programme: 2013 – 2015 improvement priorities are outlined below:
· reduce FSM/non FSM achievement gap,
· improve Reading, Writing and Maths in combination and separately,
· improve attainment at the +1 levels in all KS,
· Improve attainment in the KS 4 L2+,
· Improve attainment in all core subjects in KS3,
· improve attendance via the Callio Strategy
44. These may be further sub-divided as follows:
· Improve Number Skills
· Improve standards of Oracy
· Improve Reading Skills - identified pupils <85 Age SS in all KS and all Yr Gps.
· Improve outcomes at KS3 and 4
· Increase level of challenge via target setting : WG models and FFT D particularly at +1, - KS3 core, L2 English, Maths and Science, L2+, attendance, FSM
· Improve Attendance and Wellbeing through implementation of the Callio approach
· Improve Writing Skills
45. 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.
46. A large degree of coherence must be designed into the overall programme so that one element compliments and reinforces the other. The overall programme must demonstrate strong coherence. This aspect must be closely monitored throughout the implementation phase.
47. Individual schools have been identified for targeted support. They have been contacted and are now in receipt of the precise details of the project including delivery model, interim evaluations and final impact evaluation processes.
48. Close monitoring of project roll out and implementation will be undertaken by the LA in conjunction with our partners in the JES.
49. 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.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
50. There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this report.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
51. Met within existing resources and the SEG
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
52. End of Key Stage Assessment is a statutory obligation.
Crime and Disorder Implications
53. There are no crime and disorder implications.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
54. There are no equal opportunity implications.
55. Improving outcomes and wellbeing for all learners.
Policy Framework and Budget
56. The recommendations in this report are within the existing policy framework and budget.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
57. Not applicable.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement.
Meryl Plummer, Lead Officer for School Improvement
Jane Holland, Strategic Lead for School Support, JES
Alison Winter, Grants Management Officer
Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer