Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 17th December 2012


Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services


School Performance Report for Key Stage 3


Purpose of the Report

1.         To update Members on pupil performance at the end of Key Stage 3 (age 14) and provide information about attainment at individual secondary schools.


1.         That Members note school performance.

2.         Members request a further report to Cabinet in January including actions that will be taken to improve performance.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that Members are aware of the performance of schools and raise any issues.

2.         To identify measures that can be taken to support and challenge schools to improve performance.


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 (Appendix 1A provides further detail).

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.  This report refers to the performance of 14 year old students attending secondary schools.

6.         The National minimum expectations for pupils at the end of Key Stage 3 is achievement at Level 5.

7.         This report outlines performance for individual schools at Level 5, 6 and 7 and makes comparisons with performance in local Authorities across Wales.

8.         This report also describes performance at the more detailed attainment target levelt level, i.e. performance in reading, writing, oracy and mathematics for individual secondary schools.

Relevant Issues and Options

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

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

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

12.      Performance in the Vale at the end of Key Stage 3 is now similar to the average for Wales and is slightly below the national average for the Core Subject Indicator (CSI).

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

14.      There are too many schools in the lower benchmarking quartiles for performance in Key Stage 3.

15.      Performance analysis reveals that within English in Key Stage 3 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).

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

17.      Individual schools are being targeted for support in Key Stage 3, particularly Bryn Hafren and Barry Comprehensive Schools.

18.      The local Authority has categorised both schools as a cause for concern and in need of additional challenge and support.

19.      Bryn Hafren has been placed in a Follow-up category by Estyn, who will re-inspect the school in year's time.  The school is committed to making the improvements identified in its Inspection report and in its Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) which will be monitored every half term.

20.      Barry Comprehensive School, under the leadership of the newly appointed Headteacher has also produced an improvement plan, which will also be monitored closely every half term.

21.      As both schools have been categorised as a cause for concern the Authority has devised Statements of Action outlining the nature and extent of support needed in the schools.  The Council has commissioned the Consortium Joint Education Service to progress the Statements of Action.  The school's System Leader will monitor progress in both schools on a half termly basis producing 'Sufficiency of Progress Reports' to the Council.  Sufficiency of Progress Reports will be presented to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet on a half termly basis

22.      The Council has also implemented support programmes, across all schools, to target improvements in standards in these specific areas, as well as introducing a local target to address achievement in Reading, Writing and Maths in combination (RWM).

23.      For all schools the need to improve standards in English (particularly writing) and Maths (particularly number) has been recognised and areas for development included in Service Plans.

24.      Identified schools will be supported and challenged through the targeted support programme commissioned from LINKS (Learning and Innovation Network for Schools), as well as through the monitoring and challenge function commissioned from the Consortium Joint Education Service (JES).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

25.      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

26.      None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

27.      End of Key Stage Assessment a statutory obligation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

28.      There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

29.      There are no equal opportunity implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

30.      Improving outcomes and wellbeing for all learners.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

32.      Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

33.      Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

Estyn common inspection framework for schools.


Contact Officer

Lynette Jones Head of School Improvement, Vale of Glamorgan Council


Officers Consulted

Meryl Plummer Senior System Leader JES

John Comissiong, System Leader JES


Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer, Learning and Skills Directorate