Agenda Item No.











The report noted that in general the Vale of Glamorgan was advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation and that the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals was used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation.  In 2010/11 the Vale ranked fourth lowest overall for the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (third lowest at primary level and fifth lowest at secondary level).  The findings indicated that the aggregated performance of Vale schools should be higher than for Wales as a whole and generally ranked in the five highest performing authorities.  A Statutory Teacher Assessment was administered at the end of the Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 when pupils were aged 7, 11 and 14 years old respectively with Teacher assessments expressed in levels at the end of each Key Stage and as an Outcome at the end of the Foundation Phase.  


Committee was informed that it was important to note that for the Foundation Phase in 2012 attainment had been recorded in terms of outcome statements in contrast to previous years where it had been recorded at the end of Key Stage 1 Teacher Assessment Levels.  The nature of Teacher Assessments at the end of Foundation Phase for 2012 had also changed.  Performance at the end of the Foundation Phase reflected the apparent decline observed for the rest of Wales.  Whilst recognising that it was not possible to make direct comparisons in the current year with previous performance, there was clearly a need to maintain the work with schools to support them to raise standards particularly in Welsh.

Comparisons with local authorities across Wales placed the Vale's performance in the Foundation Phase well above the required fifth ranked position.  However, for the lower ranked position (fifth) for CSI. further analysis confirmed the understanding that relative underachievement in writing was the contributory factor to the lower performance observed.  This was being addressed via the Big Write and individual school-based targeted support programmes.


Vale performance in Key Stage 3 also did not reflect the upward performance trend observed for Wales.  Performance analysis had revealed that within English in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 2 as well as the Foundation Phase under achievement in writing was a contributory factor to under attainment in English, the core subject indicator (CSI) and in reading, writing and maths in combination.  These were therefore areas of specific concern where improvements observed in the previous year had not been replicated in the current year.  As a result Individual schools were being targeted for support in Key Stage 3 and the Council had also implemented support programmes across all schools to target improvements in standards in these specific areas. 


Tabled at the meeting for Members consideration was information in relation to performance data and comparisons for the more abled pupils which had not been available at the time the agenda had been dispatched.


During discussion of the report it was noted that the task for all school governors would be to use the wealth of data available with a view to investing resources in the areas required in order to make those particular groups accelerate in progress.  Members requested that further information in relation to children in receipt of free school meals and their achievement at Key Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 be presented to the Committee in due course.  It was also noted that there were some schools within the Vale that currently had issues in relation to performance and the Scrutiny Committee considered that the Cabinet should be provided with the detail of that information. 


It was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the School Performance Report be noted.


(2)       T H A T a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in respect of children in receipt of free school meals and their performance as detailed above, together with comparisons under the all-Wales benchmark.


(3)       T H A T the reports before the Scrutiny Committee be referred to Cabinet for consideration and that the information relating to the secondary schools as outlined above, be also presented to Cabinet and shared with the Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To apprise Members.


(2)       To receive further information arising from the contents of the report.


(3)          For consideration and information.”




Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 12th November, 2012