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Agenda item

Overview of 2018 Pupil Outcomes - City Context and School Performance

Presentation by Stephen Betts, Chief Executive, Learn Sheffield



Kate Wilkinson (Service Manager – Performance and Analysis Service) gave a presentation, a copy of which had been circulated with the meeting papers, which provided details regarding 2018 attainment and performance outcomes from Foundation Stage to A-Level in Sheffield’s schools and academies.  It included comparisons to national performance, other Core Cities and statutory neighbours.




Also in attendance for this item were Andrew Jones (Interim Head of Primary and Targeted Intervention) and Steven Betts (Chief Executive, Learn Sheffield).




Kate Wilkinson took the Committee through the presentation in sections, relating to Foundation Stage, Key Stage One, Key Stage Two and Key Stage Four.  Steven Betts referred to the Sheffield Data Summary 2018, appended to the presentation, which contained statistical information on the outcomes, rankings and trends in respect of the various measures at all key stages, in comparison with 2017, indicating that whilst there had been a number of improvements in terms of some measures, the overall picture with regard to how Sheffield had hoped to progress, had been somewhat disappointing, with most measures either remaining the same or falling slightly.




Members of the Committee raised questions, and the following responses were provided:-




·                 In terms of the recent changes in funding rules, and how Learn Sheffield anticipated things going forward, Sheffield had historically been the lowest funded of the core cities.  Whilst an increase in funding was expected in future years, there were concerns with regard to how long such an increase would take to materialise.  Whilst Learn Sheffield did not wish to use the lack of funding as an excuse, there was a clear correlation between funding and outcomes in the City.




·                 Schools had their own strategies with regard to what additional resources they provided in terms of improving outcomes for low-achieving groups of pupils, such as those from BME communities and, more specifically, Roma children.  There was no over-arching strategy in this regard at this stage.  There were examples of expertise in some schools with regard to working with such children, and work was being undertaken to look at how such expertise could be shared.




·                 Learn Sheffield shared the concerns regarding the less than expected progress in terms of reading at Key Stages 1 and 2, and would target this measure as a priority for 2019, as had been done with phonics at Key Stage 1, and which had supported an improvement this year.




·                 The 2018 attainment results of the City’s two independent schools were not included in the data set out in the presentation.




·                 Learn Sheffield accepted that work was still required in terms of looking for examples of good practice adopted by the private schools in the City in terms of the teaching of phonics, as previously requested.




·                 The concerns around the issue of deprivation, and the question of what else could be done to tackle this, should form a key part of the new strategy (from the Peer Review), and look at the connectivity between this and the priorities of the localities.




RESOLVED: That the Committee:-




(a)      notes the contents of the presentation, together with the responses to the questions raised;




(b)      thanks Kate Wilkinson, Andrew Jones and Stephen Betts for attending the meeting and responding to the questions raised;




(c)      congratulates staff and students across the Authority for the improvements in school attainment; and




(d)      requests (i) future presentations on pupil outcomes to include some basic wording, accompanying the figures and graphs, as a means of an explanation and (ii) Stephen Betts to submit a report to a future meeting of the Committee setting out Learn Sheffield’s priorities in the localities, as had been done in the Learn Sheffield Strategy and Peer Review, as well as how this will link in with the new Learn Sheffield Strategy 2019-22.


Supporting documents: