Author Archives: Ashley Pearce

November events

Councillor’s advice surgery: Church Ward Councillors will be available to discuss any issues with residents on Saturday 2nd November at 10.30am-12pm at The Whitley Café. The rugby world cup final will also be showing at the same time!

Canvassing– Councillors and activists will be out speaking to residents on Sunday 3rd November at 11am on Foxhays Road, Northumberland Avenue, Blagdon Road & Cressingham Road.

Full Council meeting: Church Ward Councillors will be in attendance at the Full Council meeting on Monday 4th at 6.30pm at the Civic Centre where Ashley will be proposing a motion against high stakes testing in primary schools.

Remembrance service– Church Ward Councillors will pay their respects on the morning of Sunday 10th at St Mary’s Butts before a march through town.

Policy Committee meeting: Ashley will be present in his role as Lead member for education on Monday 18th at 6.30pm at the Civic Centre.

Head teachers climate change conference: Ashley will introduce an afternoon of events that will help head teachers from across Reading have a greater focus on climate change in each of their respective schools. The event starts at 1pm at Alfred Sutton school on Monday 4th November.

Prospect school visit: Ashley will be visiting Prospect School in West Reading to meet head teacher David Littlemore to discuss the good work happening there on Friday 8th November.

General election: As you may have heard, a general election has been called for Thursday December 12th. Here in Reading East you get to vote for the excellent Matt Rodda for Labour. If you would like a postal vote please contact us or the Council. Remember polling stations on the day are at Ridgeway school, scout hut on Northcourt Avenue, Christ The King Church on Northumberland Avenue and the community centre on Northumberland.

Church Ward news: Also this month Councillors will start asking groups for dates to input into the updated South Reading calendar due in January, will be exploring speed calming measures with Council officers regarding Cressingham Road/Northcourt Avenue area, and various planning matters are also being investigated.

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We are Whitley logo design competition

Shift youth and community will soon be launching a logo design competition for youngsters living or attending school in Whitley. Details are set out below.

We are Whitley’ Logo Design Competition
The purpose of this competition is to give young people an opportunity to create a unique logo that celebrates the Whitley community.
It is being organised by Shift Youth + Community (SYC), a local charity working with disadvantaged children, young people and communities in Whitley.

Eligibility Criteria
Participants must be either residents of Whitley or study at one of the primary or secondary schools.

Entry Requirements and Important Dates
Competition begins on Thursday, 2nd January 2020.
One logo design per participant is permitted.
Participants can choose to design a paper-based or digital logo.
Paper-based logos should be submitted to the teacher in-charge. SYC will collect them from your school starting 10th Feb. to 14th Feb 2020. Designs could also be posted or dropped off to this address by Friday, 14th February 2020: Shift Youth + Community, c/o Tyndale Baptist Church, 2-4 Cressingham Road, RG2 7JE.
Digital logos must be emailed to reneta.kuttan@syc.life by 14th February 2020 in JPEG format (file size should be 2 MB or less).
Designs must be created using no more than 4 colours. A short description of 250-300 words explaining the rationale of your logo design must be provided.
Participants need to provide the following information for contact purposes: Full name, date of birth, school, year group, teacher in-charge, and postcode.
(Note: Participant information will be discarded at the end of the competition.)

Judging Process
Once all the designs have been submitted, they will be judged by a panel of representatives from the Whitley community.
Designs will be marked on the following criteria: Originality, aesthetic quality, relevance to the theme, adaptability to different platforms.

Other Terms and Conditions
By submitting the design, you confirm that it is original and not copied from any other source.
The winning designs will be used at the South Reading Churches Fun Day, Whitley notice boards, and community centres. The designs may be further incorporated on the different promotional materials for Whitley.
SYC will contact winning participants by 24th March 2020. Incase, SYC is unable to reach you, the runner up from shortlisted entries will be given the winning position. So, please ensure you share the correct information.

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High stakes testing motion

These tests are flawed and have a detrimental effect on students, teachers and parents. The stress, worry and anxiety add hugely to teacher’s workload, they worsen students experience and view of education whilst adding to mental health problem and add undue pressure to households as we’ve heard from fellow Councillors tonight. And for what end? All educational research points to regular LOW stakes testing being the key to raising pupil retention of knowledge and then attainment, not the extreme pressure testing that SAT’s provide. This is not to say that there doesn’t need to be some form of assessment of pupil performance, but this system needs to be a more flexible and more practical system that trusts and empowers teachers. At the moment, teachers are being forced to teach to the test when they could be doing so much more to enrich students lives with the opportunity’s education gives us. Virgin have recently said that they will no longer be looking at exam results when recruiting staff, this may be a bit further up the education timeline than SAT’s but echoes what Jeremy Corbyn recently said and I wholeheartedly agree with-“We need to prepare children for life, not just for exams”. The full motion is set out below.

This council believes that campaigning, by those who work in primary schools, parents and academics, to end the current high-stakes system of primary assessment should be welcomed, in particular the More Than A Score campaign.
Reading Borough Council resolves:
1) To express its support for campaigns against the current system of primary assessment from parents, Governors, Schools and teaching unions.
2) To call a meeting of all interested parties to discuss the council’s position on these matters and to coordinate a response.
3) To lobby the Secretary of State for Education to listen to the growing number of voices who are calling for the abolition of high-stakes testing in primary schools.
4) To offer support and guidance to schools within the area which adopt an alternative approach to assessment

Reading Borough Council welcomes the commitment of the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party to abolish SATs and other high-stakes testing in primary schools.
It notes that:
1) Statutory testing in primary schools has increased since 2010 and is increasing further: by 2020, children will be tested in Reception (the Baseline Assessment), Year 1 (the Phonics Screening Check), Year 2 (SATs), Year 4 (the Multiplication Tables Check) and Year 6 (SATs).
2) The pressures of statutory assessment contribute to the crisis of teacher morale, workload, recruitment and retention.
3) Tests are focussed on the requirements of school accountability and league tables rather than on support for children’s learning.
4) The pressures of testing in primary schools have a detrimental effect on children’s mental health.
5) Educational research has demonstrated repeatedly that teaching to the test narrows the curriculum and the educational experience of children, focussing on labelling, learning how to pass a test but not learning.

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School standards and attainment: 2018/19-October ACE report

At my school we have a marking policy not unfamiliar in many schools, ours is WWW and EBW or What Went Well and Even Better When. This is a system that works as it picks out the positives in students work but also gives pointers as to where improvements can be made. I think this is also an apt way of looking at school standards in Reading from the last year. Difficult to some in this politically divided day and age where everything is either all good or all bad but in reality, the truth lies somewhere in between.

So to start with the WWW. More parents are choosing Reading schools to educate their children than previously, bums on seats is one of the best indicators of progress for schools. Exclusions are falling, both the rate of them and the number of them. This is in no small part to the work across our schools of the Therapeutic Thinking approach which the majority of our schools have signed up to. The percentage of our schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted has increased from 77-85%. Despite my many misgivings regarding Ofsted, this must be celebrated and huge congratulations to those schools who have recently endured the stress and addition to workload of a visit and come out the other side. When we get the validated results, we can say more at a future ACE meeting regarding overall A-level and GCSE scores but initial indications show us that these are also on the increase from last year.

But we know we also have some work to do to be even better. At key stage 2 the gap in results between our schools and the national average is falling but there is still a gap. Whether locally maintained, Academies or Free schools these are the young people of Reading and all deserve the best start, so we need to find a way of working with our non LA schools to drive improvement. There is a similar picture with our disadvantaged students which is one of the focuses of our education strategy, the gap is falling but there is still a gap which we must close. We also know that we need to improve our provision and offer with regards to SEN, another focus of our education strategy, and steps are in place to increase capacity in the first instance.

So it is a mixed picture across education in Reading but I would like to stress schools don’t operate in a vacuum. Schools operate in a society and context that other factors, especially Government driven factors have a massive impact. Some areas of Reading have an 11-year difference in life expectancy from one another, but we don’t bang on the doors of GP surgeries and blame them. But we do with schools. A decade of austerity has seen teachers’ pay cut massively with workload rising, funding per pupil in schools has fallen by 8% (nearly double this for SEN students), constant meddling of curriculum but also wider social factors have a massive impact-universal credit, low wages, poor and temporary housing, the closing and thinning out of youth services and early years help. All of these things have an impact on our young people’s lives and education, its just often teachers and schools that carry the can.

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Road safety improvements for ward

There is a proposal from Ashley for an extension to the existing 20mph zone on Northumberland Avenue, extending beyond Reading Girls School. The request also includes an improved crossing facility outside the school. The element to extend the 20mph zone has received CIL funding and we have commenced initial investigations.

A recommended concept design has been developed that we believe to be deliverable. The proposed scheme includes a combination of traffic calming measures and also two informal crossing points with herringbone imprints – we felt that these would be a welcome enhancement.

A proposal to install a zebra crossing on Whitley Wood Road to improve pedestrian access to The Ridgeway Primary School has also been put forward. The proposed scheme includes a zebra crossing on Whitley Wood Road at the top of the hill (between Hillbrow and Rushden Drive), and an informal crossing point with a herringbone imprint between the existing traffic island at the bottom of the hill (by the roundabout with Hartland Road). The design shows the introduction of some waiting restrictions, therefore a statutory consultation will be required.

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Community safety survey

Overview

The purpose of this survey is to ask residents their views about issues such as crime and disorder and other local issues, to help identify priorities across Reading.  The Safer Neighbourhood Forums are required to consult on priorities with a community safety focus every 2 years.  

Why We Are Consulting

This community safety survey is being carried out across Reading to inform our neighbourhood working and local safer neighbourhood forums to find out what issues residents consider to be their highest priority at present.  Whilst we will look at all issues raised in this survey in order to compare local concerns to previous consultations, we will not be able to impact on all of them and issues such as pot holes and parking may be referred back to the relevant service if there are sufficient concerns.  Feedback from this survey will be looked at in conjunction with the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) priorities for Reading and locally reported crime across the Borough alongside the British Crime Survey and priorities identified by Thames Valley Police.  Priorities will then be set accordingly.

https://consult.reading.gov.uk/dens/community-safety-survey-2019/
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School Funding promises not enough

Whilst any additional funding to schools is welcome this is not sufficient to plug the gaps schools have suffered at the hands of nearly a decade of Government cuts. This still leaves schools with less funding than 2010 as schools have seen budgets slashed every year of this Conservative Government.

Teachers wages have also seen a huge real terms decline whilst workload has increased. A decade of slashed funding has seen buildings become outdated, teaching assistants let go, teachers not being replaced, dwindling resources and in some cases, parents being asked to cover costs that Government should be funding. During this time schools costs have also rocketed-with salary increases, pension contributions and NI contributions all rising but not funded by Government. 

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Letter to Reading buses regarding the frequency of the number 9

Dear Mr Williams

I am writing to you in my capacity as one of the councillors for Church Ward to bring to your attention a couple of issues that have been flagged with me which relate to Reading Buses.

  1. Number 9 buses along the Whitley Wood Road.

The first issue relates to the frequency of Number 9 buses along the Whitley Wood Road route. A number of residents, many of whom are elderly and for whom the bus is their only mode transport, have commented to me that the Number 9 buses are not frequent enough. It seems to me that this is a significant problem for a large number of people in what is a fairly wide residential / geographical area.

With the above in mind, I would therefore like to know whether Reading Buses have any plans to change / increase the frequency of buses servicing this route or indeed whether there are any plans to consult residents on the bus service in the Whitley Wood Road area.

I would be grateful if you could provide me with a breakdown of passenger numbers (not limited to revenue as many users will be using concessionary bus passes) for the Number 9 route and would be interested to find out whether the number of users of this service has gone up or down?

  1. Student related ASB at Christchurch Road bus stop.

The second issue relates to anti-social behaviour at the bus stop on Christchurch Road (located near to the junction with Whitley Park Lane). Residents have complained to me that this bus stop is a hotspot for noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour, primarily caused by university students using the bus stop on week nights after 9pm at night.

I would like to know whether Reading Buses would investigate or consult on the possibility of implement a temporary closure of this bus stop after 9pm at night. Alternatively would Reading Buses consider moving this bus stop up or down the road and away from residential areas?

To this end, it would be useful if you could provide me with the statistics for the number of bus users who embark at this particular stop. Is there a way to find out how many non-university students use the bus stop after 9pm? Furthermore, would it be possible to find out how many concessionary bus pass users make use of this particular stop after 9pm?

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions relating to the above matters. If it would be useful, I would be more than happy to meet in person to discuss the above issues and explore possible options.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Best wishes.

Yours sincerely

Ashley Pearce
Councillor, Church Ward

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Letter to shops on Christchurch road

Recently several residents have contacted me regarding issues with the shops on Christchurch road. I have written the below letter and will soon be sending to each of the shops from the Council to help improve local relations.

Dear proprietor

I am writing to you on behalf of residents and Reading Borough Council as one of the proprietors of an outlet on Christchurch Road. The shops are located in between two wards, Church Ward and Redlands Ward, and are regularly used by many local people. Locals appreciate the service these shops provide and wish to work collaboratively with the shops to ensure that the local area is as good as it can be.

Over the last few months I have received numerous emails, especially from residents of Northcourt Avenue and Whitley Park Lane which are closely located to the shops, to ask me if I can help in facilitating a discussion between residents and shops to ensure some issues are addressed.

The major issues that residents are concerned about are:

Deliveries (being considerate of the frequency, timings and noise of these)

Delivery lorries parking considerately, especially close to the junction of Northcourt Avenue and Christchurch Road to ensure pedestrians crossing at this busy junction (including those in wheelchairs or with push chairs) are able to pass safely.

Litter around the front and back of the shops

Noise from customers later in the evening

Improving the access road behind the shops

Residents stress that they are supportive of the shops, many use them and they wish to work collaboratively. One of the ways this may be possible is by taking part in Reading Borough Council’s Adopt your street scheme, where local businesses work with the Council to help clean up the area once a month. Myself, the Council and residents would be grateful if you were able to support this.

Please contact me in response to this letter so we are able to take good community relations forward.

Kind regards

Cllr Ashley Pearce
Church Ward
Ashley.Pearce@Reading.Gov.uk

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Nursery funding question response

For years our governments have neglected fundamental educational issues – such as funding and teacher recruitment – in favour of what are, at best, secondary issues, and at worst mere ideological passions.

Early years education has not been spared such treatment. “There seems to be little strategic direction to government policy on early years,” concluded the House of Commons Education Select Committee in February – and this is, in truth, an understatement. 
The Department for Education and Ofsted have devoted much of their energy to promoting sweeping and contentious changes to the early years curriculum, while studiously failing to address what is for many providers an existential crisis of funding.

Nowhere is this tension clearer than in the maintained nursery sector. While ministers and inspectors talk as if one of the main factors to prevent the narrowing of the attainment gap is the reluctance of the sector to adopt a more formalised curriculum, they overlook far more potent problems: the effect of benefit cuts, the rise in child poverty, and the decision to drain away resources from forms of provision that could work against such a programme of social destruction.
The achievements of maintained nursery schools are well-known. They demonstrate the difference that specialist, integrated provision can make. Concentrated in the poorest areas, they give priority in their admissions to disadvantaged children and children with special educational needs and disabilities. And they have the expertise and skills to support them successfully. 

As research quoted by Early Education points out, in 2018 maintained nurseries had the highest percentage of children who were at risk of developing special educational needs. Yet many children identified as “at risk” at age 3 had caught up with their typically developing peers by the age of 5. 
In a country where education policy was based on reason, evidence and a commitment to social justice, achievements like these would be studied, celebrated and copied. 

But, as England enters its 10th year of austerity, the opposite is happening. These nurseries will lose nearly a third of their funding in 2020 if supplementary funding is not continued.  Uncertainty hangs over the whole sector. In July, three in 10 told Early Education that they were unsure about their immediate future, Chancellor Sajid Javid and education secretary Gavin Williamson have announced what they claim are “step-change” increases in educational spending. But they have said nothing about maintained nurseries, other than a promise to keep the issue of funding under review.
This isn’t good enough. Guaranteeing to fund maintained nursery schools at 2016-17 levels should be among the top items on Javid’s list. Its absence is a scandal. 

In the face of this neglect, we on this side are supporting the School Cuts petition on nursery funding. Autumn will be a turbulent time for politics in Britain. But, whatever happens, we will make sure that the needs of the youngest, most vulnerable sections of our population are not forgotten. 

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October events

Councillor’s advice surgery: Church Ward Councillors will be available to discuss any issues with residents on Saturday 5th October at 10.30am-12pm at The Whitley Café.

Canvassing– Councillors and activists will be out speaking to residents on Saturday 5th on Birdhill Avenue (am), Saturday 12th on Barnsdale Road (am), Shinfield Road on Sunday 20th (am) and Windemere Road on Wednesday 30th (am).

Church Ward Labour party meeting: members of the local party will be meeting to discuss issues & campaigning on Monday 14th at 7.30pm at 103 Northcourt Avenue. All local members welcome to join.

ACE committee meeting: Ashley and Ruth will be in attendance at the Adult, Children services and education committee meeting on Monday 21st October at 6.30pm at the Civic centre. A report on recent educational results in Reading will be discussed.

Schools Forum: discussions between school head teachers will take place on Wednesday 16th October at 5pm at the Civic Centre.

SEND workshop: Discussions on the SEND strategy between Ashley as lead member for education, officers of Brighter futures for children and School heads will take place at Church End Primary on Wednesday 2nd October from 9am.

Primary Heads meetings: Ashley will hear updates and concerns of Primary head teachers on Wednesday 2nd October at Micklands school at 2pm.

Meeting to discuss land between Staverton Road and The Lawns: A meeting to discuss a plan to revive some derelict land between the above places will take place on Wednesday 9th October at the Whitley Café at 3.45pm.

Pupil place planning event: Head teachers, Councillors, Governors and Council officers will be discussing future plans for school places and how we best plan for this on Monday 21st October from 2pm at the Civic Centre.

Cedar Road waiting restrictions consultation: A survey will be delivered in the next few weeks to seek resident views on potentially introducing waiting restrictions on the road.

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Whitley Library Sale

The Council will shortly be marketing Whitley Library for sale on the open market and to the voluntary sector which may include a range of offers, subject to planning including community use and possible residential conversion.

The Council will be advertising the property on the RVA (Reading voluntary Action) website from in accordance with the Community Lettings Policy to give the voluntary sector a circa 4 week lead in to open marketing exercise which will itself commence in mid October for a further 8 week period.

The building is locally listed and there are tree preservation orders on the site so the Council will be looking for offers that retain/convert the building and respect the TPOs.
It is also proposed to include within the sale an area of land outside the extent of the current library site for use as ancillary parking.

More information is available on the RVA website: http://rva.org.uk

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Phoenix college relocation consultation

What the new centre could look like.

Phoenix college is looking to relocate its site to the Hamilton Centre off Bulmershe Road in the next couple of years.

Phoenix College is currently located in a very out dated building that is no longer fit for purpose for a School on Christchurch Road. The school is a special needs school that specialises in the education of secondary aged children with social emotional and mental health issues who cannot attend mainstream schools. It currently has a capacity for 64 students with around 50 currently on roll, whilst the new location, in time, would be able to cater for up to 96 pupils including females (Phoenix is currently all boys).

Phoenix recently received a disappointing Ofsted inspection result which has since seen a change in leadership and governance. The school is also currently going through the process of acadamisation with a trust with a proven track record of success ready to help the school. The next step in improving provision for some of Reading most vulnerable youngsters who attend, is to provide them with adequate facilities.

The Education Skills and funding agency will provide a sum of money to carry out the work necessary to repair and renovate the Hamilton Centre to ensure it is for modern education of these young people. It will also include a multi use games area with shared access to sports pitches.

A consultation to seek resident views will take place at the Hamilton Centre on Thursday 12th September from 3.30pm-6.30pm at Alfred Sutton Primary school (community room).

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Something good is happening in South Reading’s schools

The GCSE results were out this week, a nerve wracking but most often, ultimately rewarding time for our young people. It is the culmination of years of hard work from students, parents and teachers. At our two secondary schools in South Reading, we saw some impressive results.

At Reading Girls, they recorded their best EVER results. Progress 8 score was 0.89 meaning the girls achieved almost a grade better than their targets on average. This included 74% of students getting grade 4-9 in English and Maths, with 58% 5-9 in those subjects.

Down the road at JMA particularly impressive results (Grade 9-4 or equivalent) were achieved in Performing Arts with (100%). Physics, with (94%) and 12% of students achieving a Grade 9 ( only the top 4% of students in the country achieve this grade, it is higher than an A*). Catering (71%), Music (77%), Sport (89%), Business (89%), Biology (71%), Chemistry (76%) and Media (83%).

Good things are happening at our two secondary schools in South Reading, lead brilliantly by Jon Gargan at Reading Girls and Camilla Thornalley at JMA. Why don’t you pay a visit to see the great work for yourself?

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The results are in!

Over the last week our Secondary schools have seen both A-level results and GCSE results come in, and an improving picture is emerging. Overall school results will always be affected by cohorts of students, curriculum change, the mix of schools we have here in Reading as well as the in and out of Borough movement our students have due to us being such a small local authority. However these results tell a positive story.

Across the Borough as a whole results are improving at GCSE. Our attainment 8 was 51 this year (up by 2), our % achieving 4+ including English and Maths was 65% (up 4% on last year) and our % achieiving 5+ including English and Maths was 53% (up by 6%). These improvements are all down to the hard work of staff at our schools day in day out throughout the year for which we are always grateful.

The number of students achieving A-level grades A*-E has increased. 98% of students gained A*-E grades this year compared with 94% last year, an increase of 4%. There was a very slight dip in A*-B grades, with 58%of students achieved A*-B across the borough, in-line with the national picture, compared with 62% last year but this year beats 2017’s figure of 57%. The number of young people achieving A*-C passes was 78% compared with 77% in 2018.

Added to this, more parents have chosen to send their kids to Reading schools than ever before in the last admissions round, and two more of our schools (both rated good by Ofsted already) in Maiden Erlegh Reading and The Wren will see students sitting GCSE’s for the first time next Summer. We are also increasing our SEN capacity with a new school for our students with autism due in the next couple of years as well as the new block at Blessed Hugh Faringdon opened at the end of term.

We still have challenges which we will continue to work on. We want our exclusions down, we want the disadvantage gap closed, and we want SEN capacity increased, and there are steps in place already to help achieve this but it will take time. In the mean time I would like to welcome this set of results and thank everyone involved for their hard work: pupils, parents, teachers and Governors.


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September events

  • Councillor’s advice surgery: Church Ward Councillors will be available to discuss any issues with residents on Saturday 7th September at 10.30am-12pm at The Whitley Café.
  • Canvassing– Councillors and activists will be out speaking to residents on Saturday 7th on Northumberland Avenue (am) and Shinfield Road on Saturday 14th (am)
  • Policy Committee meeting: Ashley will be present in his role as Lead member for education on Thursday 16th at 6.30pm at the Civic Centre.
  • Church Ward Labour party meeting: members of the local party will be meeting to discuss issues & campaigning on Monday 2nd at 7.30pm at 103 Northcourt Avenue. All local members welcome to join.
  • Governors briefing: Ashley will be meeting with School Governors from across the Borough to update on education issues on Tuesday 17th from 6pm at The Avenue School.
  • Bayliss Court meeting: Ashley will be meeting executives from Bayliss Court trust who run Reading Girls School to discuss how we can work together to improve education on Tuesday 24th at 3.30pm.
  • Reading Mencap Summer Fair: Harris Garden of Reading University (off Pepper Lane) will host numerous stalls for the Mencap Summer Fair on Sunday 8th September from 2-5pm.
  • Reading University community forum: Church Ward Cllrs will be in attendance to see how the University can work with the local community on Thursday 16th at 6.30pm.
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Record number of Reading pupils get grades A*- E this year

THE number of students achieving A-level grades A*-E has increased in Reading, according to provisional figures collated by Brighter Futures for Children.

Ninety eight per cent of students gained A*-E grades this year compared with 94 per cent last year, an increase of 4%.

There was a very slight dip in A*-B grades, with 58 per cent of students achieved A*-B across the borough, in-line with the national picture, compared with 62 per cent last year but this year beats 2017’s figure of 57 per cent.

A total of 606 students took A Levels in Reading this year, compared with 691 last year and 673 in 2017.

The number of young people achieving A*-C passes was 78 per cent compared with 77 per cent in 2018.

This is the first year that results have come out where education services are run by Brighter Futures for Children, the not-for-profit company which delivers children’s services, including children’s social care, early help, education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) service on behalf of Reading Borough Council.

Tony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said:

‘These results show just how good Reading schools are. They’re a culmination of individual students’ hard work but also a great deal of effort by the schools themselves, and organisations like ours, which offers support to schools, to help them thrive and prosper. It’s no wonder that requests for secondary school placements in Reading are increasing.

‘So we congratulate all those students who got the grades they wanted but, if you didn’t, don’t worry. There are plenty of opportunities still available to you. We have recently taken over an advisory service for young people, and we can offer support and help on further training and employment opportunities.

‘Our advisors are based in Reading Central Library in Abbey Square on the third floor. You can contact them by email: ParticipationandEngagement@brighterfuturesforchildren.org  or call 01189 372 204.’

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education, said:

“Today the hard work of students and teachers in schools across Reading has paid off and I would like to congratulate all of those who have achieved great A-level results.

“Behind all the statistics are stories of individuals who have dedicated a great deal of time and effort over a number of years to achieve their grades. For those students that didn’t quite get the grades they were hoping for, I urge them to seek the available support and take time to find the correct next steps in their career path.

“I wish all young people who received their results today every success for the future whatever path they choose to take next.”

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Views sought on speed calming

Councillors have recently been speaking with residents regarding parking restrictions and speeding in the ward. After the successful introduction of waiting restrictions in Ennerdale Road & Northcourt Avenue, we are seeking resident views on whether these are needed in other roads.

As well as parking, we are aware of issues of speeding in the ward, especially around Cressingham Road, Hazel Crescent and Sycamore Road (amongst others). We will soon be meeting with Council officers in the transport department to discuss options available to us to help with speed in these and nearby roads. Any resident views, please get in touch.

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