Action plan looks to improve education standards in Portsmouth
AN ACTION plan has been created to try to improve the standard of education in Portsmouth.
Portsmouth City Council is looking to make a number of changes to schools in the city after a damning report by Ofsted said pupils are being failed.
At a meeting for education held yesterday, cabinet member Councillor Neill Young approved the action plan and the creation of a new board which will hold officers at the local authority to account.
The plan looks at key areas to improve education including improving outcomes for underperforming children and challenging all providers of education to improve pupils’ rate of progress.
Cllr Young said: ‘It really states what the council plans for how we want to drive up education standards in the city.
‘It shows we have got a priority to drive up standards and ensure that young people get the best possible outcomes.
‘The key part of the action plan and the area we have been working on is collaboration.
‘We have to work with schools to ensure that they are onboard and willing to work with us so we can really improve education.
‘Schools are critical to making this work and it is important we can work with them.’
As previously reported in The News Ofsted demanded the council turned words into action in its report published in March.
The watchdog found children between 11 and 16, and from 16 to 19 were falling below national averages, the underachievement of disadvantaged children under 16 was not being addressed properly and improvement plans lacked urgency and precision.
It also said there was ‘no sharply-focused’ practical strategy showing how the council improvement service would raise standards.
Just weeks before the Ofsted report, St Edmund’s Catholic School had been rated as outstanding. It was the first secondary school in the city to get the highest rating in seven years.
Cllr Young added the new action plan will address the problems raised.
‘It gives us very clear steps that we have to take,’ he said.
‘The landscaping is changing for educating children in the city and collaboration is important. This sets out the priorities and the way forward.’
The plan is split into five areas Ofsted said needed improving in its report. A number of schemes will be introduced within the next 12 months to address the issues.
THE EIGHT PRIORITIES
EIGHT key priorities will be targeted to improve education in Portsmouth.
Responding to a report by Ofsted which said pupils in the city were being failed, Portsmouth City Council has produced an action plan.
Within the plan, there are five areas Ofsted wanted to see improved which the council has broken down into eight priorities. They are:
n Establish and implement collaborative arrangements to support sector-led school improvement.
n Challenge all providers of education to improve pupils’ and learners’ rate of progress at every key stage.
n Make more effective use of the local authority’s statutory powers of intervention in order to bring about a significant improvement in school performance.
n Improve outcomes for underperforming cohorts of children and young people with a particular focus on disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils and boys.
n Build on existing strengths and make effective use of available school performance data, information and predictions and analyse data in order to identify priorities and ensure that appropriate challenge and support can be given.
n Accelerate improvements in school attendance particularly for vulnerable groups and those in secondary schools.
n Ensure all local authority school improvement services are held firmly to account for their contribution to raising standards and promote effective integration of services to maximise the council’s impact on raising standards.
n Improve post-16 outcomes for young people with a particular focus on achievement and progression to skilled employment or higher education.
PARTIES need to work together to improve education.
That was the message from leader of the Labour group in Portsmouth Councillor John Ferrett.
Speaking at yesterday’s cabinet member for education meeting, Cllr Ferrett said parties need to work as one to improve the outcomes for pupils.
‘There are flaws in our education system which I know go back a long way,’ he said.
‘As a council, we need to take a very balanced view on education and not let it become a political football.
‘We have got to work together to address the problems in the city.’