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Education

Education Updates from Reading’s schools

A slap in the face for pupils, parents and teachers

“Panicked & chaotic” – ASCL, Head teachers Union

“Makes a mockery of exams” – National Union of students

“Knee jerk panic reaction” – Parent

“Never in recent memory have we been faced with such uncertainty and challenge on the eve of A-level and BTec results day,” – Anja Hazebroek from the University of Hull.

It didn’t have to be like this. The Government and Dfe have had months to work out a system for results. It was never going to be perfect, it was never going to be completely fair but to introduce such a change this late in the day, the day before A-level students are to collect results seems absurd even for this Government. There was little mention of mocks (or Pre-Public examinations) in the guidance to teachers to work out centre assessed grades in April but they could now be vital.

It appears a panicked reaction to events in Scotland, whose Government have now gone back to taking the teacher assessed grade. In Wales they still have AS-levels so can base grades largely on those. So we now have the potential for 3 different countries in the UK having 3 different systems to get to exam results: one from teachers, one from AS grades and one from mocks. Maybe if Michael Gove had not been so determined to get rid of AS-levels and coursework in subjects, we wouldn’t be in such a bad position.

Using mocks throws up so many issues. School’s will do them at different times of year, some may not have done them by lockdown, some teachers mark harshly to push those students to work harder, some mark leniently to boost confidence, some will do full papers, some will do AS papers, the list is almost endless. The Government have now said that Ofqal (the exams regulator) will not now how this appeal process will work until next week, even more uncertainty for students. This then links to the Universities- How will they decide on allocations? Will courses still start in the Autumn? When will they know student results?

In the short-term students will need more support than ever, if University is the chosen path they have been asked to be flexible and it is likely to be a buyers’ market, students are likely to be able to get into many Uni’s even if they didn’t quite get awarded the grade. Schools will know what to do so should be contacted in the first instance. In Reading our careers service Elevate will be on hand to speak with students on 07929 178133 from 9am -5pm on both results days, and the following Fridays or via email: elevate@brighterfuturesforchildren.org. and Live Chat on the Brighter Futures website. Whether it’s a job, apprenticeship, college course, training, internship or University, there will always be a way to get to it. These extraordinary A-level results are just a step and one that will be overcome.

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Results support for Reading’s young people

An extensive package of support has been put in place by Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) for young people in Reading receiving their exam results this summer.
The team from Elevate Careers Service will be on hand to provide information, advice and guidance for students and their parents by phone, live chat and on their web page after the A/AS Level and GCSE results are published.

The service, which is operated by BFfC, will help individuals explore all options and provide advice on possible next steps such as; college and university, applying for apprenticeships or traineeships, access to work-based training and applying for jobs.

For the first time, young people will be able to talk to the Elevate team via the Live Chat app on the BFfC careers web page on or after results day at: https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/for-young-people/careers-service-for-young-people/. Results advice phone lines will also be open to offer support.
The dedicated BFfC careers web page will be regularly updated with information on local opportunities for jobs, traineeships, apprenticeships, internships, plus further and higher education choices and advice and support.

Elevate will also be using social media to promote local opportunities and links to useful resources for young people.
Tony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said: “I am delighted the Elevate Careers Service is able to offer such a broad range of support for young people who receive their exam results in Reading this summer.
“There are so many possible paths to take after leaving school or college, whatever your results, so it is reassuring to know there will be a friendly team of experts on hand to listen and offer advice should you need it.”

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education, said: “Young people receiving their results this year are doing so under extraordinary circumstances.
“The feelings of uncertainty students have experienced over the last few months due to coronavirus restrictions will continue to the day they receive their exam results and possibly beyond.
“This year, more than ever, it is vital that young people have somewhere to go for help and advice after receiving their results and I would encourage them to take advantage of the skilled support being offered by the team at Elevate.”

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has also published a list of national resources for students receiving their exam results this summer.
Their web page includes information for students who do not receive the results they wanted with details of the process for making an appeal and finding out about autumn exams.
There are also details of national support helplines, such as the Exam Results Helpline (0800 100 900)

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Project to support Reading children’s move to secondary school

Children who may benefit from some additional support have been invited to take part in a programme to help them in their transition from primary to secondary school.
Year 6 pupils have not been able to prepare for their change of school in the usual way this year because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Through the One Reading Children and Young People’s Partnership, a number of organisations have come together to establish the Year 6 Transition Support Project to give extra help to around 80 children.
The scheme will supplement the transition support already planned by schools and will offer one-to-one help to pupils.
The partnership project has been led by Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) and Cranbury College working with the Thames Valley Partnership Leaf for Young People mentoring project (funded by Thames Valley Police) and schools across Reading to deliver the programme which will run until December.

Prof Dr Kate Reynolds, Director of Education at BFfC, said: “The transition from primary to secondary school can be a daunting step for children and they are normally helped to prepare by their teachers at primary school and with visits to their secondary school. The Covid-19 restrictions have interrupted their journey this year and left some children feeling less confident about the step-up.
“We’re delighted to be leading the Year 6 Transition Support Project and, with our partners, aim to offer extra help, both during and after transition to secondary school, and to give pupils the confidence they need for their next steps.”

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Education, said: “The coronavirus outbreak has seriously disrupted the lives of school pupils who would normally have had a well-structured run up to the end of their time in primary school and introduction to secondary school.
“This uncertainty has left some of our more vulnerable children feeling particularly in need of some extra support and I welcome this innovative multi-agency project which will help Reading children perform to the best of their abilities in their new surroundings.”

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New SEN school approved

Plans for a new free school for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Reading and Wokingham have taken a significant step forward.

The government has announced the special free school, to be known as Oak Tree School, will be operated by the Maiden Erlegh Trust and funded by the Department for Education.
The project has been a partnership between Brighter Futures for Children, Reading Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council.

Oak Tree School will accommodate 150 pupils with SEND and will be designated for pupils with a Social, Emotional and Mental Health and/or an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. The special school will meet the increasing levels of need in the Reading and Wokingham boroughs and provide an essential local education setting and mean that more children will be able to remain close to home for their schooling.

The school is anticipated to open in September 2022.
The Department for Education (DfE) gave the go-ahead in March 2019 for a new special free school to be opened in the Reading/Wokingham area.

Following a recent procurement exercise, led by the DfE, Maiden Erlegh Academy Trust has now been appointed as the new school provider. The school will operate as a Special Free School and will be accountable to the DfE.

Both Wokingham Borough Council and Brighter Futures for Children will work with the new provider to agree the educational outcomes.

The school will be on a piece of land adjacent to Wheatfield Primary School and the M4/A329M in Winnersh. The site is owned by Wokingham Borough Council and has been promoted for a school and housing through Wokingham Borough Council’s local plan update. The DfE will be responsible for building the school including all costs and the land will be leased to the DfE on a peppercorn rent.

Prof Dr Kate Reynolds, director of education at Brighter Futures for Children, said: “We are delighted that plans for the new SEND free school are moving forward and would like to congratulate the Maiden Erlegh Trust on their successful bid to run the school.

“We look forward to working with them and Wokingham Borough Council on progressing this exciting project.
“Maiden Erlegh Trust already runs a number of schools in the area and has recently taken over the Hamilton School, previously known as Phoenix College, an SEMH special school in Reading.
“This new free school will provide 150 much-needed places for Reading and Wokingham children with SEND and is part of Brighter Futures for Children’s strategy to meet the increasing demand for SEND places in the town.”

Cllr UllaKarin Clark, Wokingham’s executive member for children’s services said: “This is such a wonderful opportunity for Wokingham children with social, emotional and mental health and/or an autism spectrum disorder to have state of the art specialized facilities close to home.

“We are pleased to continue to work with Maiden Erlegh Trust, who already run several schools within Wokingham borough, and are very happy to have been part of the partnership that has resulted in this excellent opportunity for Wokingham borough children with special educational needs and disabilities to stay within the borough for their schooling.

“We know that keeping children as close to home as possible has a beneficial impact on their learning and development, so having this new school in the borough is excellent news for us.”

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading’s lead councillor for education, said: “The Maiden Erlegh Trust has a proven track record of running schools in Reading and working well with education authorities.
“The number of children with SEND has increased significantly in Reading in recent years and similar patterns of growth have been seen in neighbouring authorities.

“I welcome the progress of this new special free school which will result in more Reading children receiving the specialist education they need closer to home.”

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Education policy headlines and reality

Free laptops for disadvantaged students
This is only for pupils with a social worker or disadvantaged students in year 10. These must be collected by pupils from their school & only recently arrived.

Johnson makes U-turn on free school meals
Hugely welcome (and thank you Marcus Rashford) but we need to make sure that younger pupils especially (who get universal free school meals) sign up for free school meals before the Summer otherwise they will miss out.

Boris Johnson promises huge amount of Summer catch up for pupils
Zero detail has been provided.

Extra £1bn for pupil catch up
This is to be shared amongst the UK’s 25,000 state schools. So far nothing for early years or further education colleges. £350m of this is a discount for tutoring. From the other £650m, some must be used to pay for this tutoring.

All Primary pupils back by July
Policy appears to have been dropped.

Every Child back by September
No detail of how this will be done (although expect the 2m social distancing rule to be dropped) and no mention if that means all pupils in school at the same time every day. Almost certainly not.

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National Thank a teacher day

Wednesday is national Thank a teacher day, where I hope we can all take a moment to appreciate the work of our hard working education professionals.
The last few months have been incredibly tough for young people with great upheaval, change and uncertainty. But throughout all of this, their teachers have been there to support them, the mediums may have changed but the care and dedication is still there.

I have been humbled by how teachers have adapted to this new world and risen to the challenge. There have been so many wonderfully creative ways that teachers have engaged with their students both in and out of schools. I’ve seen vegetable gardens, top Trumps for pets, plays acted out, alien profiling and baking competitions amongst many many other fantastic activities to keep students learning but more importantly, ensuring the well being of our young people. 

Above all else this is what out teachers do, they provide reassurance, safety and care for our young people, and for this I am very very grateful. So, Thank you teachers, today and every day. 

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Schools reopening round up

The discussions around how and when schools will open to more pupils is evolving hour by hour. Here is a round up of the latest goings on:

BMA LETTER : The British Medical Association have written a letter backing the NEU’s 5 tests before schools can return. https://www.tes.com/news/coronavirus-doctors-back-teachers-fears-over-schools-reopening

Unions ask for more evidence: Teaching unions met with the Dfe to ask for them to release the science behind their decision to “reopen” on June 1st, this is yet to be done. https://www.itv.com/news/2020-05-15/meeting-over-school-return-leaves-many-questions-unanswered-says-union-chief/

Some Council’s have said they won’t reopen on June 1st: Liverpool Council has been followed by a few others in saying they will defy Government advice and not open on June 1st. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-52679548

NAHT say June 1st not feasible: Boss of head teachers union NAHT Paul Whiteman has said it won’t be possible to open schools as per Government plans at the start of June. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52633150

Dfe say absence a matter for heads: Whilst it has been confirmed parents will not be fined if they choose not to send pupils to school, the Dfe have said staff absence consequences are sown to heads. https://www.tes.com/news/action-over-absent-teachers-matter-heads-says-dfe

LGA Call for Local authorities to have power to close schools if Covid cluster emerges: https://www.nasuwt.org.uk/article-listing/council-powers-close-schools-covid-19-clusters.html

Dfe say no pupil rotate: further guidance was released this week in which the Government said they don’t want totals (e.g. specific days in for year groups). https://www.tes.com/news/coronavirus-schools-defy-dfe-over-pupil-rotas

Children just as likely to contract Covid-19: Research released this week as well as ONS data claims young people are at least just as likely to get the virus as other age groups. https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-children-in-england-more-likely-to-be-infected-with-covid-19-than-any-other-age-group-study-warns-11988784

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New guidance on school opening

What we know:

– Reception, year 1 and year 6 back in school on June 1st
– There will be no PPE in schools
– Social distancing not expected in Primary
– Class sizes of 15 in Primary
– Class sizes halved in secondary
– No penalty for parents not sending kids
– Break/lunch/Drop offs to be staggered
– Pupils kept in same group/room where possible

Further Questions

– Are years 10 & 12 expected back on June 1st? If so, how many hours per week?
– Will there be any help to provide hand washing facilities?
– Does “limiting shared resources” include computers & PE equipment?
– When the guidance says “Schools should provide meals for all children in school” – Does this mean no packed lunches?
– Whilst flexible work practices are encouraged, how will it be ensured this takes place?
– If 2m distance between desks cannot be achieved in secondary schools, locating to another local school is mentioned, is it not more likely they are all incapable of doing this?
– If schools and local settings are best places to decide what is taught, can you confirm there is no expectation of teaching the curriculum?

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Students will need time

In March teachers and students were flung into a new world of distance learning. Neither side particularly wanted this, and neither side was prepared. But teachers have adapted quickly and developed a huge range of methods to deliver learning from afar. The Dfe recently announced best practice for this new world and the Education Endowment Foundation quickly released research they had done on what’s best in this field. None of it is surprising or that different to class room teaching. Recap on prior learning, be specific with instructions, keep work in small but regular chunks, vary the type of work set and feedback on pupils work. These are all good practice for the class room but can, and have been adapted by teachers for our new norm. But we can replicate the other vital side of school, the social element. It is this aspect young people will be missing most.

I send an email to my classes each Monday containing a podcast from me, the weeks work and a few more light hearted aspects like joke and fact of the week, well being tips and I even introduced Mrs Pearce’s quote of the week, linking something she has said in the week to Business/Economics (my subjects). This week I also included a survey for students to fill in about how they are getting on with school work and Lockdown in general. Not a vast survey but I think the wider sentiment among young people would be similar. In general students were going to bed a little later and getting up a little later, they are still spending most of their time on school work (with computer games and phone use distinct seconds), they think the amount of work set is about right and mostly prefer tasks where they make their own notes on topics (not online tasks). This will obviously vary from school to school and student to student.

But the most interesting aspects were what they miss, not being able to see friends/socialise was cited by about 2/3 of respondents, a similar number said missing playing sports. The biggest barriers to learning are lack of motivation and inability to focus, I’m sure in no small part down to both the peer aspect of learning (competing and sharing with class mates) and the focus a teacher brings, and many would like to see face to face online lessons, again, I’m sure to replicate the class room feel and to see their class mates. At least a third of my students also said lockdown has made their mental health at least a little worse. All of these are linked to the social rather than academic aspect schools bring.

When we do get back to the classroom, only when safe and only when practical, there may well be a rush to close gaps and fill in lost lessons of learning so we can prepare students for exams next Summer, which we all know will return. But we are going to have to first get students used to their surroundings again, remember how best to learn again, trust their teachers again, socialise with their friends, be welcomed back into a normal school society. They, like us would have just been through an extraordinary time in their lives, it will take time to get back to the norm, this shouldn’t be rushed and should be done right.

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Clarity needed on practicalities of reopening schools

I have read many articles and views on school reopenings, the when, the how, the who. We are all in unprecedented times and are all finding our way, I don’t think any of us know the correct answers or routes, and we may never know. But like with most things I think we should be honest, provide as much information as possible to people and crucially, be practical about what is possible. As a classroom teacher it is the practical on the ground steps that matter most but i fear will get least attention.

When the Government do provide further guidance on school reopenings later this week, clarity is needed. The Government have rightly asked heads for their views on the how and whom for schools reopening (not so much the when) but ultimately this is a Government decision, and after heads have been heard it is them who should decide. This is a national decision and should be made by national Government.

There also many other issues that need to be addressed, with clear information and instruction, not just vague get outs in the form of guidance. The NEU have their 5 years and the Government need to address many questions before we can safely open schools.

Such as:

– Which year groups will be in?

– How many hours will pupils be in?

– Is the expectation of a full curriculum or more like child care?

-For students not in, are teachers still expected to provide remote learning materials?

– What maximum class size can there be?

– What exactly are the social distancing expectations?

– Who or How will equipment be provided if this can’t be shared?

– What expectations will there be of parents picking up pupils to distance?

– If students can’t share equipment then PE equipment and Pc’s become a no go so class room space is diminished further.-

-At what level does staffing become too low to keep the school open?

– What happens if parents decide to keep their kids at home through health fears? Will central Government fine them?

Then there are a couple of crucial questions for the future:

– Are current year 5, 10 and 12 pupils expected to take their respective exams for next year having missed a big chunk of the course now?

– What will be expected of school budgets for next year?

I am not saying any of these things are easy to answer and it will be an evolving process but it’s clarity and information that is needed, not more jargon and sound bites. 

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Primary admissions round

More than 83% of parents got their first choice for their children’s primary school places in Reading this year, despite an increase in 160 applications compared to last year.

Brighter Futures for Children, which delivers education services in Reading, has made sure all primary school pupils in the borough have a place for September. Of these, 83.44% (1,753 pupils) got their first choice and just 3.33% (70 pupils) were offered a divert option.

The number of applications for places at Reading’s primary schools has increased, up from 1,882 in 2019 to 2,042 this year.

A total of 2,140 places were available on National Offer Day (16 April) in Reading primary schools. The remaining places (160) are held for late applications and transfers during the academic year.

For those who couldn’t be offer a place, a divert school has been offered. All divert schools are considered to be within a reasonable distance of the child’s home address. This accounts for 3% of applications.

It’s great to see more parents choosing Reading’s primary schools and over 95% getting one of their top 3 choices. Welcome to Green Park Village Academy as the newest member of our primary family here in Reading. 

I’d also like to take this opportunity to extend thanks to all of our schools in Reading for all that they’ve done to keep the children of key workers and vulnerable children safe and in school, keeping home learning going so well, and still managing to help us with the admissions process. We continue to be grateful for all education staff going above and beyond every day.


 

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School closures

What the Government/Dfe have said:

As of Friday afternoon (March 20th) many schools across the country will officially close.

Some schools will remain open to children of key workers as safe spaces. This list includes workers from the NHS, the military, teachers and childcare, care homes, social workers, police, fire, prison officers, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, infrastructure, highways agency, environmental health and local authority planners. This list may be added too. Those with EHCPs, Children looked after and children with a social worker will also be able to attend school. The Government expects this to be around 10% of the usual school population. These schools will remain open over the usual Easter holiday.

A plan is currently being worked on for a national voucher system that can be used in supermarkets for those on free school meals to ensure no child goes hungry when away from school.

There will be no formal exams this Summer, this includes year 6 SATs, year 11 GCSEs and year 13 A-levels. There will also be no school league tables published this year.

The Government have said that how grades will be awarded will be announced tomorrow (20/3) and the aim is to award grades under a different process and system in August.

Universities have said students should not lose out on the chance to go to University this year.

Trainee teachers have been told that they will pass their teaching qualification year and provide support in the next couple of years.

Here in Reading

Please check your individual School website for the best and most up to date advice. You can also check for updates on the Dfe website and the Brighter Futures For Children website. These will have the best, most accurate and up to date website.

We have been working on and speaking with our schools to decide which will be open and available for key workers in the coming weeks, we will let everyone know as soon as we can which and where these are. It is a huge logistical challenge with many people working round the clock to sort.

Working at home

I know that many Schools and many teachers would have already been in contact regarding working from home. But please remember that teachers are humans too. We have our own families we may well now have to look after, relatives to provide for and may be fighting illness themselves. I’m sure you’re aware of how much time, effort, energy and passion your child’s teachers put in and will continue to do so. In many ways schools have not closed, they have adapted. We are all getting used to this and will evolve. I couldn’t be prouder or more grateful for how much work the school staff across Reading’s schools have put in this week. To every one of them, thank you so much.

The Government

These are unprecedented times, this is all new and many people are working flat out. I would urge the Government to act quickly to provide clarity, guidance and assurance on a range of school issues however. Head teachers have been amazing this week but they deserve more help.

A personal view

I’ve been a secondary school teacher for nearly 15 years and have never known a day like today. I looked round many times today with a tear in my eye to other staff I’ve worked with for a long long time, we’ve seen and experienced many things but this was tough. We had to tell both years 11 and 13 that all the work they’ve put in over the years will not have a definitive end point. That we don’t know how their grades will be awarded. That we don’t know how their University places will be decided. That we don’t know when or if they will be back in school. That their last day is either now it tomorrow when they expected it to be 2 months away. That we dont know when they will get their prom. I know all of our teachers have had to have these discussions with worried students from all year groups and how hard it is. I have found the day incredibly emotionally draining and when I left school just burst into tears.

Thank you

But wanted to end with another huge thank you. These are incredible times but luckily Reading is lucky to have incredible people running and working in our schools. We will adapt, we will provide and we will educate. It’s what we do best.

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More secondary school students get first choice school in admissions round

Today’s national allocation day for secondary school places sees more Reading parents getting the first choice for their children than last year. 72.6% of students got their first choice secondary school up by 8.6% from last year. With 11.8% getting their second choice and 5.85% getting their third choice, that means over 90% of our students were offered one of their top 3 choices. Of the students that will need to be diverted, most have been offered places in Reading schools.

These admissions show the faith Reading parents have in our schools with more parents than ever choosing to send their children to our schools. It also demonstrates the good pupil place planning and efficiency of the admissions team at Brighter Futures For Children. We would like to thank them for their hard work as well as all of the teams at our Secondary Schools.

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Lord Agnew writes positively about Reading’s schools

Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education Lord Agnew recently wrote to Brighter Futures for Children with some praise and recent statistics from our Schools.
The highlights included (Primary):

-Between 20010-2018, Reading created 4095 new primary School places. This was due to the successful expansion of many of our Primary Schools across the Borough who agreed to increase their capacity to cope with the increased level of Primary aged pupils, up 40% in the last decade.
-12,108 Reading primary School students attend a School rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted (86% of the total).
-96.4% of Primary School applicants received one of their top 3 School preferences, and we would always encourage parents to put down more than one choice on their child’s application.
-The Local Authority also has a good record on forecasting Primary pupil numbers. In terms of predicting Primary numbers a year ahead, numbers were just 2.5% higher than predicted, whilst over a 3 year prediction period this was out by 6.9%, with the highest outliers nationally being some LA’s predicting numbers 6.4% under and some predicting 13% over.

(Secondary):
-Between 20010-2018, Reading created over 3000 new Secondary School places. This was done by the building of 2 new secondary schools in the Borough (with a third on the way) and some of our secondary’s agreeing to expand. This was to cope with a 64% increase in secondary pupil numbers in the last decade.
-85.1% of Secondary School applicants received one of their top 3 School preferences, and again, we would always encourage parents to put down more than one choice on their child’s application. Last year more Reading parents chose Reading schools than previous years.
-Our attainment 8 score at GCSE was 51 this year (up by 2 from last year), the % achieving 4+ including English and Maths was 65% (up 4% on last year) and the % achieving 5+ including English and Maths was 53% (up by 6%). 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%. With the number of young people achieving A*-C passes was 78% compared with 77% in 2018.
-The Local Authority also has a good record on forecasting Secondary pupil numbers also. In terms of predicting secondary numbers a year ahead, numbers were just 0.5% lower than predicted, whilst over a 3 year prediction period this was out by 7.4%, with the highest outliers nationally being some LA’s predicting numbers 5.3% under and some predicting nearly 15% over.

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Key stage 2 results

Reading’s score of 63% of pupils achieving the expected results in reading, writing and maths at KS2 puts us on a par with both E Sussex and W Sussex (which face very different challenges) in the South East. The national average is 65% and we continue to work with our primary schools to improve standards and achievements through our Schools Standards Service.

Of the 13,688 primary school pupils in Reading, 12,008 are in Outstanding or Good schools.

But we know we have work to do to get KS2 results up. The gap in results at KS2 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. We will be bringing a report to the ACE committee in the Summer that details KS2 results and our plan across Reading Primary Schools to help achieve this.

Further up the school process, our schools results continue to impress. Our Progress 8 score, which measures progress from KS2 to KS4 is the ninth best in the South East (out of 20 local authorities) but the achievements of pupils in our secondary schools are above the national average, both in terms of GCSE and A Level results. In fact, Reading schools produced the top A level results in the country last year and our Attainment 8 score of 50.4% puts us as the fourth highest in the South East.

But none of this is in isolation. Our schools have seen 8% per pupil funding cuts since 2010. Fewer teachers, fewer Learning support assistants, fewer resources and bigger class sizes. Many of our students are also starting school at lower levels than a decade ago. Child poverty is higher, housing and jobs are often more insecure and pre school services have been cut to the bone. By the time our students leave KS2, and then when they leave the School system at KS4 or KS5, they are in a much better position than they started. That is thanks to the incredible work of our schools and teachers not the slash and burn policy of this Tory Government. 

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