To receive an update on the attainment of children and young people in Hampshire schools in 2020.
The Committee received a report and presentation providing an annual update on the Attainment of Children and Young People in Hampshire Schools 2020 (Item 8 in the Minute Book).
The Director introduced the item and highlighted to Members that due to Covid-19 and the absence of educational data, there couldn’t be comparisons drawn with previous years reports, but it was important to still bring an update to the Committee.
Members were taken through the presentation slides which highlighted key areas of the report. Members noted that as a result of the cancellation of KS2 tests, GCSE’s and A-level’s in 2020, there would be no national data produced by the Department for Education for this period. The Ofqual process in awarding GCSE grades in 2020 was explained and also the challenges around this to try and ensure this was an accurate and robust process as detailed at paragraphs 7-14 of the report.
The challenges with using algorithm and teacher assessments were explained, and officers highlighted that ‘unconscious bias’ could be a factor in teacher assessments, but slide 8 of the presentation slides highlighted that the move to teacher assessments had not disadvantaged disadvantaged pupils further.
In response to questions, Members heard:
· That the DfE have announced a £1billion catch-up fund for schools to support the catch up of disadvantaged children, and as part of the national mentoring programme, graduates will help to mentor children, particularly those disadvantaged.
· For post-16 learning, colleges have put in significant catch-up elements to ensure gaps in knowledge are addressed.
· That Ofsted inspectors are currently engaged in research to understand the effects of remote education, and a first paper on this has recently been published to provide a national perspective.
· That a lot of colleges and universities have reached out to accept children and young people who haven’t obtained the required grades for a course, and have done their best to accommodate.
· That in relation to laptop availability for remote learning for disadvantaged children, the DfE has announced a further allocation of laptops to schools for the current lockdown.
· That successful remote learning should be a blended approach of online teaching and home working, with targeted support where needed. That thought has also been given to how some learning could be used as a remote resource post-lockdown.
· That there have been issues in relation to child engagement and online learning, and some schools have explored using a rewards policy for positive engagement, as well as ensuring children are logged on for learning when expected.
· That schools have reflected over the summer on how to successfully deliver any future online learning, which has made the current period of lockdown learning smoother.
The Executive Member for Education and Skills emphasised the hard work of all schools and colleges in Hampshire over the past year, and the support given to parents and children with remote learning.
The Chairman thanked officers for their presentation, and proposed an amendment to the recommendation to thank all schools and colleges in Hampshire for their work during the pandemic, which was seconded by Councillor Branson. The Committee agreed this amendment.
That the Committee noted the contents of the report and thanked all schools and colleges in Hampshire for their work during the pandemic.