This report summarises the performance of children and young people in Croydon schools for the academic year 2016 / 2017
The report was presented by the Director of Education and Youth Engagement, and the Head of Standards, safeguarding and Learning Access.
The Sub-Committee was advised that this was a pre Cabinet report, was asked to review the academic outcomes of 2016/2017 and note the contents of the report.
Members were provided with some of the key headlines of the report such as an overview of standards, with standards in early years above the national average. Key Stage (KS) 4 progress was also above national average and improvements were seen in KS5.Croydon secondary schools judged by Ofsted as good were 90% and 47% were outstanding. Almost 50% of Croydon pupils attend an outstanding school and 86% attended a good school. The percentage of primary schools rated as good was 86.8%.
The Sub-Committee learned that A level attainment was just below the national average of grade C, with Croydon pupil’s achieving C minus on average.
In addressing issues on attainment for Looked After Children (LAC) who were performing below national average at KS2 and KS3, the Council had concentrated on restructuring of virtual schools and EPEC systems to monitor Personal Education Plans (PEP). There were planned visits to virtual schools in other areas to gain better understanding of best practice. There was a workshop due to take place for professionals to explore barriers for LAC attainment. The restructuring of the virtual school will allow a greater focus on monitoring and improving progress, ensuring that children’s needs are being met.
The Sub-Committee was informed that in relation to attendance, there had been general improvement from 2015/16 figures. Croydon primary schools had remained static against the national average and secondary school figures were just below the national average but had improved compared to the previous year.
In relation to exclusions, there had been 33 permanent exclusions for 2016/17 compared to 2 for 2015/16. The increase in primary schools exclusion contributed to the rise in this figure. The data for Croydon was still favourable compared to statistical neighbours and London as a whole. There were 346 fewer fixed period exclusions compared to 2015/2016 figures. Officers stated that Croydon was one of the few boroughs that had an exclusions and fair access panel. The Council was looking at what further could be done prior to pupils being referred to the panel.
In response to a Member’s request for clarification on attainment for LAC children, officers stated that the attainment were lower than the national average and this was attributed to the type of LAC, they stressed that there were many LAC children who had good outcomes.
The Sub-Committee commented that there were a number of schools in appendix three of the report that did not have any figures listed. Officers responded that this was because the schools had not excluded any pupils, although these figures would be checked and any amendments added to the final report to Cabinet.
In response to a Member question on strategies in place to prevent exclusion of primary school pupils, officers stated that they were currently developing a managed move protocol as offered in secondary schools. This had been trialled with success and was being shared with colleagues in other schools.
Members questioned what had been done to address the high number of BME pupil exclusions. Officers responded that Croydon was looking at other approaches which had been successful to implement in schools in the borough.
The Committee was advised that a family centred approach was needed to tackle issues. Early identification, trust building and engaging of early support was vital. The monitoring of attendance and exclusions figures provided an opportunity to spot issues in schools. The virtual schools were working with foster carers of BME LAC children to gain a holistic view of issues and provide support through PEP.
The Chair requested that:
- The report to Cabinet should detail all schools that have high fixed exclusion figures;
- Future reports include figures of absence compared to exclusions data for each school; and
- To further explore how schools that that have high exclusion and absence rates utilise their Pupil Premium Grants.
In order to understand A-level attainment results, Members questioned if the issues were attributed to pupils not choosing the right establishment for their studies. Officers stated that extensive work had been carried out in the last three years by 6th form providers to consolidate their offer of subjects and specialise in the area they were best at in order to offer a good range and also be economically viable.
The Sub-Committee thanked officers for the responses to their questions
1. The Sub- Committee noted the report
2. The summary box at the beginning of each paragraph of the report would be more balanced if it contained the challenges as well as the positives in all key stages.