Portsmouth’s plan to improve GCSE results could see teachers being sacked

VISION Portsmouth's head of education Di Mitchell
VISION Portsmouth's head of education Di Mitchell

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TEACHERS could be sacked and children will get extra tuition as part of a new plan to turn around poor GCSE results in schools across Portsmouth.

The city’s head of education Di Mitchell says primary education is good, but pupils are being let down when they get to secondary school.

Now a new report aims to increase grades and turn around struggling schools.

Mrs Mitchell was appointed last September in a bid to boost standards.

She said members of staff, including teachers, could lose their jobs.

‘We could be sacking the head – it’s that extreme,’ she said. While grades are not up to scratch at secondary level, results show that children have been performing well at a younger age – this year Key Stage One results were the best ever.

Planned improvements include raising pupils’ expectations, providing extra training for ‘satisfactory’ rated teachers, and using the Education Endowment Fund to help struggling youngsters.

The city council says it will also provide tuition and will use Pupil Premium Money to support the most disadvantaged pupils.

Councillor Rob Wood, cabinet member for children and education, said: ‘We are aiming to raise the attainment levels of all our children and young people and raise the expectations and belief in what they can achieve. The publication of this plan marks the very beginning of our work.

‘We must now work with pupils, schools, parents and other partners so that everyone understands the ambition outlined and can help deliver the improvements needed.’

The move to improve education comes as the city has seen consistently poor results at GCSEs in council schools, including special schools, over the past few years.

Last year, more than a third of school leavers – 35 per cent – failed to get a C or above in English and 47 per cent failed to get the same grade or better in maths.

And overall, just 46 per cent of students achieved five or more A*-C’s including English and maths last year – way below the national average of 57 per cent.