Mak­ing progress .... but lots to do

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - EDUCATION MATTERS -

First of all I would like to wish every­one a Happy New Year. Jan­uary marks the re­turn to school for pupils, teach­ers, staff and gov­er­nors af­ter the busy Christ­mas pe­riod and the start of spring term. For many, thoughts will be­gin to turn to­wards ex­ams and the next steps in their ed­u­ca­tion.

As we get back to work and start look­ing for­ward to what 2019 will bring, I want to fo­cus on some of the high­lights from the past 12 months.

It’s fair to say that 2018 was highly chal­leng­ing, but we have made pos­i­tive steps and achieved some great things.

We are mak­ing steady progress, how­ever it will take time, ef­fort and pa­tience to get to where we want to be.

Our ut­most goal is to boost out­comes for schools and pupils across the city and the fact that our Key Stage 2 re­sults for 2018 showed steady im­prove­ment was great news.

The fi­nal re­sults showed that 66 per cent of pupils achieved the ex­pected stan­dard in read­ing which is five per cent higher than 2017 and 68 per cent in maths which is one per cent higher.

In the sub­jects com­bined, 54 per cent of pupils achieved the ex­pected stan­dard which is a three per cent im­prove­ment on 2017 and a 15 per cent im­prove­ment over two years.

Since 2016, the city’s re­sults have im­proved by 14 per cent in read­ing, three per cent in writ­ing, nine per cent in math­e­mat­ics and 15 per cent in the sub­jects com­bined.

Now don’t get me wrong, we’re still a long way short of where I want Peter­bor­ough to be in the na­tional KS2 league ta­bles, but as stated, it is go­ing to take time and small steps to en­sure that we climb up to a higher po­si­tion.

For the fourth year run- ning Peter­bor­ough was above the na­tional av­er­age for the num­ber of pupils achiev­ing A-level passes.

With re­sults re­ceived from all the city’s 11 se­condary schools who had stu­dents sit­ting A lev­els in 2018, the over­all pass rate has re­mained above the na­tional av­er­age at 98.2 per cent – with the na­tional av­er­age pass rate stand­ing at 97.6 per cent.

Both out­comes are a slight de­cline on last year’s re­sults, re­flect­ing changes to the A level cour­ses and the move to exam-only out­comes in many sub­jects.

GCSE re­sults re­mained con­sis­tent, amongst a new ex­am­i­na­tion sys­tem, but as with all out­comes we will con­tinue to work to make progress.

One out­stand­ing high­light from 2018 was the news that 89 per cent of the city’s pri­mary schools were judged by Of­STED to be ei­ther Good or Out­stand­ing, which is bet­ter than the na­tional av­er­age.

I am ex­tremely proud of this achieve­ment - it shows the level of ded­i­ca­tion by every­one in ed­u­ca­tion in the city and their abid­ing will­ing­ness to im­prove.

Mean­while, some of our Early Years ser­vices also drew pos­i­tive feed­back fol­low­ing a peer re­view in July.

This saw Peter­bor­ough’s START school readi­ness pro­ject praised for its work in pre­par­ing chil­dren for learn­ing.

These are just some of our notable achieve­ments from 2018. There are many, many more that have been made by in­di­vid­ual schools, pupils, teach­ers and gov­er­nors, that un­for­tu­nately, I don’t have the nec­es­sary word space to list!

How­ever, we re­main un­der no il­lu­sions that the chal­lenges we face are stark and there is much more work that still needs to be done.

My aim for 2019 is to build on the progress made over the past year and kick on, so that we con­tinue to see im­proved out­comes and cre­ate a sys­tem that works for all chil­dren in Peter­bor­ough

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