To receive a report of the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on the attainment of children and young people in Hampshire Schools in 2018.
The Committee received a report and presentation (Item 6 in the Minute Book) from representatives of the Director of Children’s Services on the attainment of pupils in Hampshire schools.
Members were taken through the presentation slides and the attainment of children when assessed at the end of reception year in Hampshire compared to national results was highlighted to the Committee. It was noted that whilst data from the Department for Education was provisional for 2018, indications showed that Hampshire would continue to score above the national average for this assessment, and continue to perform strongly against its comparator statistical authorities.
Data also showed the strength of educational achievement at the end of key stage 2 in Hampshire schools which also continued to compare favourably with national results, and in light of the introduction of national new tests at the end of key stage 2 in 2016. Officers highlighted that in light of changes to assessments, schools in Hampshire still maintained a strong performance, which could be seen in the quality of education and strength of teaching.
With regard to secondary education GCSE results, it was explained that changes to the government performance matrix in 2017 had resulted in changes to GCSE courses which included an altered grading structure, with a 1 to 9 point scale replacing the A-E grading structure, with 9 being the highest score attainable. It was noted that the traditional C grade would now equate to a new grade 4, and GCSE’s in Maths and English were now more challenging. As a result of these changes, it was difficult to compare 2017/2018 results with previous years results, but Hampshire schools were continuing to perform above the national average. It was noted that a number of schools had reported concerns about the marking of GCSE’s under the new grading structure, and some papers were being remarked as a result.
The complexities of calculating Attainment 8 and Progress 8 at secondary level was explained to Members, and it was highlighted that for Attainment 8, Hampshire was above the national average as well as in the top half of comparable statistical neighbours. It was explained that some schools may look to increase Attainment 8 scores by actively restricting curriculum choice in favour of EBacc subjects, to the detriment of subjects such as art and music. Members heard that this had become a cause for concern at a national level. For Progress 8, it was noted that Hampshire schools performed slightly below the national average and its statistical neighbours, resulting in a -0.09 score.
In concluding, Officers highlighted that primary education was outstanding amidst educational changes and financial pressures, and Key Stage 4 and secondary schools were continuing to perform well.
In response to questions, Members heard that:
· Achievement data considered all children in Hampshire Special Schools exactly the same, and the progress that children made was carefully looked at.
· The local authority has been working closely with some underperforming schools in Hampshire to help them secure improvements in standards at Key Stage 2, as outlined in Section 6 of the report.
· Students should have the choice to study non EBacc subjects such as art and music at GCSE level, rather then these being discouraged because they are non EBacc.
That the Children and Young People Select Committee noted the update.