School Needs To Improve KS2 Standards Quickly Says Council

school 2 2014The Five Islands School needs to improve the reading, writing and maths skills of its Key Stage 2 pupils to avoid falling foul of new rules being introduced by the government.

At last week’s Children’s Committee councillors heard that this group has fallen below the national standards for the second year running.

The government says that 85% of pupils need to reach the required level but last year, the school managed only 65%. It was 76% in the previous year.

Anything less than 85% means the school could be defined as “coasting.”

Children’s Officer Keith Grossett told councillors that if it happens again this year, it could lead to an intervention by the Regional Schools’ Commissioner.

It’s an unusual situation because in later year groups, the results show the children regain ground and exceed the national standards.

Head Teacher Linda Todd says the small group sizes in Scilly can also skew the results.

She says just a couple of children with special educational needs can have a large effect on the numbers.

And Linda said the changes in the required levels from 60% to 85% are proving “quite controversial.” She said it’s a significant jump and a quarter of schools haven’t managed to achieve this.

Senior officer Aisling Hick says she was pleased to see rapid improvements in phonics over the past 18 months but that progress should be maintained.

Aisling said the school needs to be in a strong position especially with important decisions being made about academy status over the coming months.

Committee Chairman Christine Savill said the Council would be supporting an improvement plan at the school by “putting more money into it.”

22 Responses to School Needs To Improve KS2 Standards Quickly Says Council

  1. Jaded October 22, 2015 at 11:14 am

    The sooner someone bothers to come and inspect what is going on, and the school is made to join another academy trust, the better!
    Shame on you for blaming the children. Perhaps some long(er) term records of progress should be looked at, like when primary had their own site and secondary had their own site. The model now, 3 – 16 eduation on one site is not working.
    I too am a parent at said school and I am tired of this long dragging saga.

  2. Ray Wornes October 20, 2015 at 10:38 am

    This is an age old problem. The Gov’t is standing back at arms length administering a crude measure of our School’s performance. Surely the best way of evaluating performance is by measuring each child’s improvement year on year which is what parents want to hear. Don’t blame our teachers for the failings of the Govt’s crude test of educational achievement which may not accurately reflect a School’s performance in that year. More Academies and now more Grammar Schools. Is education going backwards?

    • Alex October 20, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      I am not sure why people believe Academies are such a bad thing and a backwards step. As a Governor at an Academy on the mainland the freedom this has brought has transformed the school. The school is directly accountable to its Governors and DfE and there has been a significant reduction in bureaucracy. The school is free to run itself as the head and teaching staff see fit – provided the required standards are achieved.

      Of course not all Academies will succeed but where this is the case I am not sure the school would have succeeded under local authority control either.

      • Michele Govier October 20, 2015 at 5:44 pm

        No Ray, education isn’t going backwards, teachers are becoming more accountable for education and they don’t like it. Teachers need to realise that we are in a performance culture and they’ve had it far too easy with their 12 weeks holiday, full sick pay and relatively cosy working environment. We need Grammar schools to help our brightest pupils achieve their potential, state run schools aren’t as good.

        The best thing about academies is that it is easier to replace staff who aren’t up to the required standard to teach children and they have more control of their budget. You’ll get better teachers and then results will improve, that is what Scilly needs.

  3. Happy With The School October 20, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Will you stop moaning about the school unless YOU are prepared to do something personally. How many times have there been spaces on the governing body and yet no one wants put there name forward, because it is far easier to moan about it than actually get off your arses and help.

    This isn’t just a school issue. It is a school / child / parent relationship and it needs to be recognised as such. Too many parents blame the school when the issues are at home with lack of parental support. If you want your child to do well at school, not just educationally but socially, then heed the above. Also there are too many children with ‘perceived’ problems, there’s nothing wrong with the majority it is just bad parenting.

    Don’t get me wrong there are issues at the school, some of the teachers need support and guidance and that is normal in any working environment.

    Finally, look at the GCSE results.

    Right off you go.

    • Micky Gove October 20, 2015 at 10:00 am

      It’s their not ‘there’ -hope you are not a teacher.

      • Happy with the school October 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        you are quite right of course, damn that auto correct spell checker thingy! Many apologies and no I’m not a teacher but a happy parent with a child at school.

        • scillyfan October 22, 2015 at 1:03 pm

          Yes, blame she spell checker, why don’t you … And sorry to say this but some of the teachers are simply just not very good at the school. Not a big pool to choose from when recruiting, sadly. I’m certain this is the cause of recent poor results – not parents.

  4. Get a Life October 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    The school has excellent Teaching staff and doesn’t need help. Check the figures!!!!!

    • Real Life October 19, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      They did and in KS2 the percentage figures don’t meet a required standard.

    • Mr. Chips October 19, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      I guess someone took your advice and did, the figures speak for themselves.

  5. Tom October 19, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Love the Heads list of excuses

    • Richard October 19, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      I’m used to classes of 30 where each child counts as 3% of a year. When year groups are, what, 5 to 10?, one child who doesn’t reach the expected level cuts the overall achievement by 10 to 20% on that basis. So a drop in one or two years can be explained – but if performance over 3 to 5 years is lower than expected, then action is needed.

      If KS4/GCSE results are good but KS2 are not, perhaps the Bases are not delivering – but as a mainlanders I don’t want to start that argument!

      • Suncream October 20, 2015 at 9:05 am

        The year groups are not as small as you imagine. While each child represents a slightly bigger percentage of the total than in the standard class of 30, that does not excuse these results. Many mainland schools contend with all the disadvantages of excessively large bulge classes, English as a foreign language, and urban deprivation, yet manage to get 85% of their children over the bar. The headmistress of the Five Islands School should be ashamed of these results and ashamed that she has blamed the children for the results of a test which is there to assess the school not the children. She is very lucky to be in charge of such a beautiful and well resources school with students from caring homes. There may be one or two children each year who really struggle, but to consistently have a quarter or more of children failing to meet the basic learning objective of primary education is appalling. The children and their parents have been failed by the school and intervention is long overdue.

        • Richard October 20, 2015 at 9:32 pm

          Looking at the DfE website, it suggests that 2014 KS2 results at the school for those achieving Level 4 were above the England average (81% to 78%), so the figures quoted here are different. Without looking at all the figures I can’t see why they should be different, but it’s clearly not as simple as it looks.

          In 2014 there were 21 11 year olds tested, so each child was just under 5% of the total. The year was weighted towards boys (13 to 8 girls) and as boys generally perform worse than girls at this age that may also have an effect. I obviously don’t know the size and mix of the 2015 cohort or what effect that might have had on the results.

          It’s not my school and so not my children. In such a small community, any problems are bound to be magnified and everyone will have a solution. I would just say that working with the school is almost always better than working against it.

          • Suncream October 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm

            I agree with much of what you say (apart from your views on gender disparity). Really there is no excuse for any child (male or female) without a severe learning difficulty finishing their primary education without having met the basic levels of competency that the primary curriculum is designed to teach. There is a complacency here that is having a negative impact on the learning outcomes and future prospects of children. The comments about GCSE results are a red herring. They are not as good as they could be and the emphasis is on getting 5 A-Cs not 9 or 10 A-Cs. On the mainland parents have a degree of choice over which school their child attends. The Five Islands School has an obligation to meet the needs of the entire community because there is no other school to go to.

  6. Micky Gove October 19, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Perhaps the Senior Officer could share with us the educational qualifications needed to hold such a position. To be able to judge a running of a school, surely the lead person on the local authority would have the necessary educational qualifications and experience -otherwise, all comments and judgements are meaningless. Having gone to school or being a parent of children at school, does not qualify anyone to pass judgement on seriously qualified professionals.

    • Geoff Seasick October 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      This officer is a product of reorganisation. It works just like magic no previous experience, no qualification not even aptitude is obligatory just a quick wave of the corporate wand and expertise flows into their very being. It really is a pantomime and our councillors seem to be powerless to do anything meaningful to put credibility back into the organisation.

  7. Kate Stephens October 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Yes you’re right, I mean who wants a school to have outstanding GCSE pass rates, which rate it in the top 20% of schools nationally?

  8. Margaret Davis October 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Why does the Council need to help by ‘putting in more money’ ??

    • High Lanes Drifter October 21, 2015 at 7:53 am

      They are probably aiming for overspend symmetry, it’s de rigueur for our council.

  9. Soutie October 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I have nothing to do with the school, but I simply don’t believe it’s problems with the metric or the quality of the kids, or indeed small class sizes (!!) that are behind this failure. It’s time to admit that this is a school that needs intervention to raise standards.