A Sure Start centre in Whitley that gives children a secure start in life has been rated as outstanding in its latest Ofsted report. It’s these Sure Start centres that Labour introduced that help close the gaps in society and that are under threat from Tory party cuts. The centre was praised for its safeguarding procedures and relationship with parents. A huge congratulations to all involved. More can be read about the report here:
Ward School News
Ward School News
Cllr Pearce was delighted to be a guest at the latest WEC schools Council meeting held at the new building of Reading Girls school. The impressive new building held host to students from Geoffrey Field, Ridgeway, Chirst the King, New Christchurch and of course Reading Girls. Students from age ranges of 7-16 shared their views on their role models, local facilities, transport, education and the state of school meals! They also quizzed Cllr Pearce on his idols and the local library. A big thank you to everyone involved, a great show case for the young people of Whitley.
Schools in Reading are improving, but this progress is now at risk with big cuts in central government grants about to be handed down by the Tory Government. The number of GCSE passes at Grade A*-C, including English and Maths has risen, Reading retains its top spot in the national table of ‘A’ Level achievement and Reading’s primary school children are performing above the national average.
There is significant improvement in outcomes for students at Key Stage 2 (Primary), Key stage 4 (GCSE) and Key Stage 5 (A Level) in 2016. In particular: 64.1% of students achieved A*-C in both English and Mathematics, the Attainment 8 progress figures ranks Reading at 39th out of 152 Local Authorities and Reading’s key stage 2 results ranks us at 50th out of 152 local authorities compared to 103rd last year.
But these improvements are at risk, with the Local Government Association warning that the Tory Government intend to cut the £450 million budget covering school improvement work to just £50 million later this year. In addition, schools are facing massive cuts to their budgets with some schools in Reading facing a cut of up to £920 per pupil, which could fund 18 teachers. Reading’s MPs consistently vote for these cuts, they must now stand up for Reading’s schools and demand that no school in Reading faces a cut to its funding.
Ridgeway Primary school will be celebrating its official opening this Friday with a visit from Tony Jones the lead member for Education. The schools expansion demonstrates the Council’s commitment to excellent school facilities in the borough and in South Reading in particular. Ridgeway holds a special place in Cllr Ashley Pearce’s heart, as a Governor at the school for the past 3 years he has helped oversee the expansion. More detail about the opening can be read here.
Reading Girls school will be holding its open evening and new building showcase on Tuesday 8th November from 6.30pm to 8pm at their site on Northumberland Avenue. More details can be found here
Young people in Reading received their GCSE results this week which saw a rise in those achieving an A*-C grades in Maths and English rise despite a fall nationally. A big well done to all of the students, teachers and parents involved. More can be read here.
Young people in Reading received their A level results yesterday with Reading students results as a whole being in line with the national average. Locally at JMA 50% of students received A*-B grades and 75% received A-C grades. Well done to all! More can be read from the Get Reading site here.
Ridgeway school has been nominated for a prestigious pride of Reading award by a local resident for their work with her son. Local resident Charlotte Tipper praised the school for their work with her son Carl. The full story can be read here. A huge congratulations to everyone at Ridgeway.
Ashley recently attended an all day Governors day at Ridgeway Primary school where he was able to meet staff, eat lunch with students, scrutinise data performance and tour the new block. Ridgeway has been one of the schools most affected by the Council’s ambitious Primary phase expansion as it will grow to a three form entry. The new school look built around a quad contains a fabulous new look building. The building contains a new hall, canteen as well as classrooms kitted with interactive white boards and break out areas. Huge thanks to Mrs Cosgrove and all of her staff in the work that goes on every day at the school.
Ashley was able to see the great work that has gone in to setting up Ridgeways new block. Open for the spring term, the new building includes a new hall, offices and reception. Access to visitors is now only via the Whitley Wood Road entrance and the build has been completed on time. The rest of the buildings rare progressing on time and are due to be fully operational soon. It demonstrates Reading Councils great work in its primary expansion programme.
Ashley was in attendance at the latest Reading First conference on Monday where Head teachers, Governors, Councillors and Council officers met to discuss the future of Reading schools. The aim is to create a collective group where all local schools will work closely together to help and support each other improve. More can be read about it here
Ashley will be asking the Council to back a resolution on bringing the London fringe allowance to Reading at Tuesday’s Full Council meeting. Teachers as far as Bracknell and Maidenhead receive an extra £1000 a year in pay to take cost of living into consideration. This puts Reading teachers, schools and students at a disadvantage compared to nearby authorities and this is something we want to rectify. The full resolution can be seen below
The resolution on teachers pay at the Council meeting can be viewed here
Reading Borough Council is promising to work with the John Madejski Academy and education bodies to improve standards of education for schoolchildren in South Reading .
The academy, in Northumberland Avenue, Whitley, which is not controlled by the council, was put into special measures this week following an OFSTED inspection in November 2015.
Councillor Tony Jones, Reading’s lead councillor for education, said:
“We are obviously disappointed with the outcome of the recent inspection of John Madejski Academy and the council is determined to see action taken which will provide the quality of education children in South Reading deserve.
“The council will work closely with the academy and the Department for Education Academies Division alongside OFSTED to create an effective and long-term solution to the current unsatisfactory situation. We are adamant all students in Reading should be provided with the opportunity to succeed and that any gaps in achievement are narrowed and closed, particularly for our more vulnerable children.
“The local authority is committed to ensuring John Madejski Academy makes fast and sustainable progress towards these aims and we will work closely with the Regional Schools Commissioner and the DfE Academies division to ensure that whatever support is required will be put in place.
“Although John Madejski Academy is not a maintained school controlled by the local authority and is guided by the DfE Academies Division, the council is keen to work with all parties to ensure that the students obtain the education that all of our children in Reading”.
The impressive rebuild of Reading Girls school in the ward continues under the leadership of Head Mistress Viv Angus. Church Councillors were recently able to see for themselves how quickly the structure is taking shape. The new facilities will provide an excellent learning space for students and staff alike.
The Ridgeway Primary and Geoffrey Field Junior were two South Reading schools that benefited to the tune of £500 per school for signing up with Berkshire credit union. The Union which helps get those in need sort their finances, have been going into schools to teach pupils about financial responsibility and the importance of saving. To find out more of the credit unions work click here.
Geoffrey Field Junior school and The Ridgeway Primary school have both benefited from Reading Borough Councils investment into school expansion. More can be read here.
Church Ward Councillors would like to promote the work of Northumberland training academy who run courses in Whitley. The academy based at Reading girls school site has an open day every Thursday but visitors are welcome everyday between 9am-4pm and enrolment for courses is now open for 2015/16. The website can be found here: http://northumberlandta.co.uk/
Church Ward Councillors Eileen and Ashley as Chair and Vice-chair respectively of the ACE (Adults, children’s services and education ) committee are helping shape our schools future. Reading Borough Council are re-writing the strategies on education with the aim of all of our schools being rated good or outstanding by 2018. In Church Ward we are very proud of our schools, both rated good by Ofsted in their last inspections, The Ridgeway and Reading girls. If you would like to have your say on Reading schools please go to the consultation linked below:
The Ridgeway Primary school has struck gold in the form of 300 gold coins that students found on an archaeological dig. It is thought the coins date from Roman times where the site may have been owned by a citizen or farmer and the coins buried for safe keeping. The coins have been sent to a specialist to check their age and may end up in Reading museum. Head teacher Madelaine Cosgrove said “Both pupils and staff are very excited about this discovery and look forward to the story unfolding so that it can be preserved as part of the heritage of the Ridgeway school”.
The story even made the BBC news website