Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Education achievement and standards 2017-18

To note the contents of this report, to be read in conjunction with the data provided in the appendix and note the areas for improvement set out in section 9.

Minutes:

The Senior Assistant Director (SAD) of Inclusion, Learning and Achievement introduced the Head of School Improvement who gave a presentation to the Panel that highlighted key points in the report. She also informed the Panel that the Headteachers of Cardwell Primary, Eltham Hill School and Harris Academy Greenwich would give presentations in relation to the Education achievement and standards report discussing the challenges their respective schools faced and the strategies implemented to resolve them.

 

At 7.08pm Councillor Lolavar joined the meeting.

 

In response to questions raised, the Head of School Improvement advised that the Pupil Referral Unit was rated Good by Ofsted in May 2016.

 

The SAD of Inclusion, Learning and Achievement added that the Local Authority worked with all schools within the Borough and provided additional support to those experiencing difficulties. She stated that at the John Roan School an Interim Executive Board (IEB) was in place and was working in collaboration with the Headteacher, Local Authority and School Improvement Advisors. The school were also bringing in Coaches and Mentors to work with the year 11 students to ensure they were sufficiently prepared and ready to undertake their exams.

 

In respect of the Halley Academy, the SAD of Inclusion, Learning and Achievement stated that over the last few years, the school had received allocated pupils as result of its falling popularity with parents and that this presented with it a number of challenges such as there being a higher concentration of less able pupils within its school population. She had made two visits to the school and felt it had a more positive feel having undergone work that had improved the learning environment for pupils. During the visits, she discussed the schools SEND provision and their action plan to improve results. The Head of Wilmington School in Kent was working closely with the school, sharing experience and expertise to support the school. She said the Halley Academy becoming part of the Leigh Academy Trust was a positive step to the school finding its way forward.

 

The Head of School Improvement added that the Leigh Academy Trust were keen to work with all Greenwich schools both primary and secondary.

 

At 7.20pm Councillor Cornforth joined the meeting.

 

In response to questions raised, the SAD of Inclusion, Learning and Achievement stated there was a good working relationship with Stationers Crown Woods Academy who welcomed working with the Local Authority and she had met with the Executive Head of the school but not had the opportunity to meet with the Chief Executive. She said the outcomes were unexpected and the school were disappointed with the results. However, they were working with the Learning Improvement Partnership understand the pupil data by carefully tracking, analysing and discussing it, to implement appropriate interventions. 

 

The Panel expressed concerns about the educational outcomes at Key Stage 4 in Greenwich and if enough was being done to address it.

 

The SAD of Inclusion, Learning and Achievement stated that all schools under the London level are invited to come in, meet, and discuss their improvement plans and to receive guidance on best practice. She stated there were good collaborative working arrangements that encouraged and facilitated knowledge sharing amongst the schools to improve outcomes. She advised the Panel that there was a universal offer day, when all year 6 pupils in the Borough going into secondary school are made offers and that there is then much more specialist work for children with additional needs. All Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) - academies, maintained, primary or secondary schools meet on a day to share information about the needs, triggers and support requirements of individual children. She stated that this allowed the secondary schools to start planning and make the necessary preparations for the intake of those children.Over the last 2 years, there has also been a particular day to work with the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Cohort who often experienced more difficulty in making the transition to secondary school. The ASD Team carried out additional work with the ASD Cohort to help them prepare such as showing picture profiles of the new school and teachers. The Stepping Up programme was available to all schools and worked with children, who were known to the Fair Access Panel, either had Fixed Term Exclusions or other vulnerabilities. The programme occurs during the summer holidays at St Paul’s Academy providing these children with the opportunity to experience a secondary school for a week during which time there are discussions on peer pressure, gangs and behaviour management. She stated that this particular cohort were tracked and supported as they progressed through secondary school. She informed the Panel that Children Services had successfully won a bid of nearly £500,000 to be delivered over three years, to work with vulnerable year 5 students to prepare them in making the transition from primary to secondary school and they would be working alongside schools to develop the programme to best support the children.

 

The Head of School Improvement added that in terms of the Children and Young People Plan – Priority 1 they were looking at disadvantaged young people, talking to head teachers and there was a cross-phased working group thinking about transition. She stated that over the last 2 years a network of Key Stage 2 and 3 teachers working together had been established. 

 

In response to questions raised, the Head of Performance Analysis Service stated that a number of high performing students are retained within the Boroughs secondary sector and that 70% of children that attended a Greenwich primary school progressed to a Greenwich secondary school, which for London was a good transition rate.

 

The SAD of Inclusion, Learning and Achievement advised that the transition day for SENCOs was for all children that had a diagnosis for autism regardless of whether they had an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP). She said that a large number of children who had autism did not require an EHCP plan and were able to function in school, with the provision and the support available in school. It was recognised that autism diagnosis waiting times were considerable and Children Services were working closely with Oxleas and the Clinical Commissioning Group to reduce this. She stated there was an issue with pre-diagnosis and putting services in place during that stage however when children are displaying particular needs that schools often work towards and met needs without it being diagnosed.

 

Provide information on Children on the ASD spectrum with EHCPs

Action: DCS 

 

The Head of School Improvement responded that the White British boys cohort is an area of disadvantage that is being tracked forensically in schools. All schools in the Borough had tracking systems to isolate and monitor the most disadvantage groups and were able to review performance from different starting points. There were often other factors to consider such as Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). She informed the Panel that Greenwich schools were very good at looking at the overall needs of individual children to allow the appropriate intervention to be put in place. Further adding that some of the higher performing students were pupil premium White British boys.

 

At 8.22pm Councillor Dillon joined the meeting.

 

The Panel received the following presentations:

“Cardwell Primary School”, “Eltham Hill School – Presentation to Scrutiny Meeting” and “Harris Academy Greenwich Sustaining Performance”

 

Resolved –

 

That the contents of the report read in conjunction with the data provided in the appendix and the areas for improvement set out in section 9 be noted.

Supporting documents: