To receive a presentation giving an outline of the results for schools in Rushmoor for 2018 and to consider whether to examine the issue in more detail.
The Committee received a presentation by Mr. Andrew Colver, Head of Democracy, Strategy and Partnerships, providing an update on education and skills in Rushmoor and the recent Key Stage 2 (KS2) and Key Stage 4 (KS4) results.
The presentation, highlighted educational levels of the working age population, Ofsted reports and the KS2 and KS4 results. The schools “requiring improvement”, according to Ofsted, were noted. It was advised that during 2017, the progress of pupils in some schools, at KS2, was below the national average in reading, writing and maths. However, 67% of schools had results above the England average in 2017 and 72% in 2016, the 2018 results were due in December, 2018.
It was explained that the KS4 GCSE results had shown that three secondary schools (Fernhill, Alderwood and Cove) were performing “below” or “well below” the average and only Wavell had an “average” score in the Progress 8 results. Wavell was also performing at the same level or slightly above the Hampshire and England averages for Attainment 8. In respect of the English and Maths GCSE grades 4/5, Wavell was the only secondary school in the Borough performing above the Hampshire and England averages. The Committee was also advised of the number of young people being entered for the English Baccalaureate, the numbers entering had varied over the past three years, but Wavell remained consistent with the number of pupils being entered. The results for 2017/18 showed that Wavell scored higher than the Hampshire and England averages. The 2017/18 provisional GCSE results showed that Wavell had scored “average” or “above average” in all areas. However, Cove, Fernhill and Alderwood were a cause for concern, scoring “below average” or “well below average”. It was noted that Cove and Fernhill had, in the past, had difficulty maintaining staff; this situation appeared to have been resolved recently and most available positions had been filled by full time teaching staff. It was hoped that this positive change would translate into wider improvements going forward.
The Committee noted that Hampshire County Council (HCC), being the education authority, was striving to make improvements within the schools in the Rushmoor area. The Council was also involved in a range of initiatives, which had been introduced to support the secondary schools: these included mock interviews, careers days/events, mental health support and years 10 and 11 work placements. The Council was also working with students at the Farnborough College of Technology on a shadowing programme with Elected Members. It was reported that the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet had held meetings with headteachers and would continue to discuss issues, provide support and liaise with HCC to seek to address the challenges.
The Committee was asked to consider the issues raised and whether educational attainment issue could be taken forward as a project.
The Committee discussed the presentation and concerns were raised regarding the high turnover of staff in some schools and the support provided to those teachers in post. The number of children with special educational needs was also raised as an issue as were concerns around the effects of deprivation and lack of support from parents. It was recognised that the Council’s role in this was limited but it was felt that it should be prioritised for further consideration.
The Committee AGREED that the way forward would be discussed further at a meeting of the Progress Group with a view to developing a project.