Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 12 OCTOBER 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 5 OCTOBER 2015
C2930 SCHOOL PERFORMANCE REPORT 2014-15: FOUNDATION PHASE AND KEY STAGES 2 TO 5 (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -
Cabinet was informed of pupil attainment and school performance outcomes.
Statutory end of Key Stage Teacher Assessment (TA) 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.
The National minimum expectations for pupils at the end of the Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2 and 3 were 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.
Additionally, expectations for more able pupils at the end of each phase were as follows: Outcome 6 or above at the end of the Foundation Phase, Level 5 or above at the end of Key Stage 2 and Levels 6 and 7 at the end of Key Stage 3.
In relation to external examinations at Key Stages 4 and 5, the report outlined performance for the measures as follows:
• The Core Subject Indicator (CSI); the proportion of pupils attaining a GCSE A* - C in the core subjects of English, Welsh, Maths and Science.
• Level 2 Threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to C.
• Level 2+ Threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to C including Maths, English or Welsh. This was the government's preferred measure of educational attainment.
• English GCSE Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining English GCSE A* to C.
• Maths GCSE Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining Maths GCSE A* to C.
• Science GCSE Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining Science GCSE A* to C.
• A Level; the level 3 indicator measures the proportion of pupils attaining 2 or more A levels A - E.
For Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, the report used provisional data and comparative benchmarking information only.
In general, the Vale of Glamorgan was advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation. The proportion of pupils entitled to receive Free School Meals (FSM) was used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation. In 2014 -15 the Vale ranked 5th lowest overall in Wales for the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (4th lowest at primary level and 5th lowest at secondary level). These findings indicated that the aggregated performance of Vale schools should be significantly higher than for Wales as a whole and should always rank in the five highest performing Local Authorities (LAs), as a minimum expectation.
When considering LA performance, the key indicators for consideration were 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;
- LA performance trends over time, when compared with the all Wales means and prior performance;
- The relative gap in performance between LA means and the all Wales means;
- 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 performing in the high or highest benchmarking positions when compared with similar schools and ranked against LAs across Wales.
For benchmarking purposes a school could be located in the top two quarters, i.e. the high or highest benchmarking position in the group or in the lower to lowest two quarters. Relative performance of similar schools was 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.
Estyn placed great emphasis on the need to ensure that at least 50% of schools across a LA, for each indicator within each phase, were located in the high or highest benchmarking positions, or above the median.
Welsh Government used this information to rank individual LAs according to the proportion of schools, in each LA, that were located above, or below the median. This was known as the LA School Benchmarking Rank comparative information. This latter information was not yet available for 2014/15.
The report detailed school performance progress at the following key stages;
- Progress in the Foundation Phase
- Progress in Key Stage 2
- Progress in Key Stage 3
- Progress at Key Stage 4
- Progress at Key Stage 5
The report also outlined information on those Schools that were causing concern and were subject to the use of powers of intervention.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(1) T H A T pupil attainment and school performance outcomes, based in the case of GCSE and A level examinations on provisional data, be noted.
(2) T H A T it be noted that in accordance with the School Standards and Organisation Act (2013) formal warning notices had been issued to St Richard Gwyn and Bryn Hafren comprehensive schools and that the statutory intervention at Barry Comprehensive School had been extended to include the appointment of two additional governors.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for consideration and that the Committee be invited to reconvene individual school progress meetings at Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools and to establish a meeting with St Richard Gwyn Comprehensive School.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To note the attainment of pupils and the performance of schools in 2014/15.
(2) To note that the full powers available to the authority were being used to improve schools that were underperforming and in accordance with the School Standards and Organisation Act (2013).
(3) In order that the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) could review educational outcomes for Vale schools and, in relation to the named schools, to review the progress that the schools are making.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 5 OCTOBER 2015