Portsmouth launches fresh strategy to tackle below-par school GCSE results

A new plan aims to improve GCSE grades in Portsmouth

A new plan aims to improve GCSE grades in Portsmouth

James Watson Hall. Caption: Google Maps

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A FRESH strategy has been produced to tackle Portsmouth’s inconsistent school results.

It comes as a report reveals improvements in GCSE grades are not ‘rapid’ or ‘decisive enough’ and fluctuate every year.

...when we look at our GCSE results, they are rocking, we go from highs to lows. That’s where our focus needs to be, we have got to improve that and improve outcomes for young people.

Portsmouth Tory education boss Neill Young

The proportion of schools being judged by Ofsted as good or better has risen from 66 per cent in August 2013 to 72 per cent at the end of August 2015 – yet only six per cent are ranked outstanding. And none of those which are classed as outstanding are secondary schools.

To tackle the issue, the city council has launched a new drive to raise standards.

The three aims of the ‘Achieving Excellence in Education’ strategy are to:

n Narrow the gaps in the achievement of disadvantaged pupils.

n Improve the overall standards that pupils reach, in particular at the end of Key Stage 2 and 4.

n Improve attendance, particularly for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities, and those of secondary school age.

A quarter of Portsmouth’s schools have now been transferred over to academy status, and Tory education boss Neill Young says it was important they got on board with state-run schools to improve standards.

However, the strategy acknowledges that the government expects councils to act as ‘strategic commissioners’ for all schools and act as ‘champion for all children and young people in their area’.

Cllr Young said: ‘When you look at Key Stage 1 and 2, we are improving and moving in the right direction.

‘But when we look at our GCSE results, they are rocking, we go from highs to lows.

‘That’s where our focus needs to be, we have got to improve that and improve outcomes for young people.’

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