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Public meeting on Education

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Gavin Barwell

on 14 May 2014

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Transcript of Public meeting on Education

Public meeting on Education
National policy
Local measures to raise standards
Local measures to deliver school places
with Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central
Office opened 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday: 133 Wickham Road, Croydon, CR0 8TE
No appointment necessary
020 8663 8741
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Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
"Raise the bar, narrow the gap"
The Context
In the last year for which figures are available, only 40 pupils made it to Oxbridge out of the 80,000 pupils eligible for free school meals.
And we slid down the international league tables for school performance. Between 2000 and 2009 England fell from 7th to 25th in reading, 8th to 28th in maths, and 4th to 16th in science in the international league tables
But 1 in 3 pupils left primary school unable to read and write. Key Stage 2 results in 2010 showed that 36 per cent of 11-year-olds failed to achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics

Number of pupils sitting key subjects halved under Labour. In 1997, 49.9 per cent of pupils entered GCSEs in six of the core subjects covered by our E Bacc. This fell to 22.0 per cent in 2010.

(DfE, Interim Results for Key Stage 2 & 3 National Curriculum Assessments in England, 2010/11, Table 5a, 2 August 2011)
(PISA study, DfE Press Release, 7 December 2010).
(National Pupil Database figures, Hansard, 18 July 2011, Col. 550W).
(Sutton Trust, University Admissions by Individual Schools, February 2008)
To achieve the English Baccalaureate pupils need to attain grade C or above in English, maths, two sciences, a language and either history or geography;

By 2013, the number of pupils achieving the EBacc increased to 35 per cent.

The Government has reformed teacher pay to raise the status of the profession by enabling schools and headteachers to reward performance and attract and retain the best teachers.

The Government is spending £18 billion on school buildings over this parliament – more than double the amount Labour spent in its first two terms combined.
(DfE Press Release, 17 October 2013)
(DfE Press Release, 26 November 2012; DfE website, 26 November 2013)
(DfE Press Release, 16 May 2012)
(Hansard, 18 November 2013, c.740W)
LA Name Funding for new school places 2014-17

Birmingham £107,245,072
Essex £96,374,327
Croydon £96,017,760
Newham £84,455,472
Hampshire £81,362,369
Surrey £72,313,021
Greenwich £65,837,985
Leeds £58,313,810
Manchester £56,881,500
Leicestershire £54,982,263
Oasis Shirley Park Junior School
St Thomas Becket Primary
Harris Academy South Norwood
Quest Academy
Key Stage 1 results, both nationally and locally, have shown improvement in 2013, the second year in a row there has been such a rise, having been largely static for the previous five years (as shown in table and graph form below). Particularly pleasing in Croydon is the improvement at Level 2+ (expected level of attainment) in reading, writing and mathematics. Croydon’s results have improved and are better than statistical neighbours and national averages in reading, writing and maths. For the first time Croydon’s results at Level 2+ exceed the national.
Results at Level 3+ (above expected attainment) have improved in reading, writing and mathematics in Croydon. They remain below the national average at this level, however the gap between Croydon and national in writing and mathematics has narrowed to 2% in writing and 1% in mathematics.
Comparisons with statistical neighbours show that Croydon’s KS1 results in 2013 are above the statistical neighbour averages at Level 2+ and are equal to or better than London averages in all subjects.
Girls outperformed boys in reading, writing and mathematics at all levels except mathematics at Level 3. This mirrors the national picture.
The performance of academies at key stage 2: At the time of Key Stage 2 testing in May 2013 13 Croydon primary schools were Academies. The mean percentage of children achieving Level 4+ in reading, writing and mathematics was 82%, 9% above the Croydon average.
Croydon results in reading were above national, having been below national in 2012. In writing, whilst attainment was higher than in 2012 Croydon was 1% below national. In mathematics Croydon’s results were 2% improved on 2012. At the expected level of attainment Croydon’s children performed 1% below the national average. However, at better than expected levels (Level 5+ and Level 6) Croydon’s children performed better than their peers nationally, significantly so at Level 6.
On the new measure of the percentage of children attaining Level 4+ in all of reading writing and mathematics Croydon was 1% below national. There is no comparable figure from previous years. At Level 5+ Croydon again performed slightly less well than the national average. Reflecting the national picture, girls outperformed boys. Boys made better progress than their peers nationally in reading and mathematics and better than all pupils nationally in mathematics.

The new grammar, punctuation and spelling test, set for the first time in 2013, showed Croydon’s results to be above national at all levels.
Comparisons with statistical neighbour and national averages show that Croydon’s KS2 results for 2013 are above the national and statistical neighbour averages at Level 4+ in reading, above national averages in mathematics at Level 5+, in line with statistical neighbor and national averages in reading at Level 5+ and below in writing at Levels 4+ and Level 5 and mathematics at Level 4+. In terms of pupil progress measures, the percentage of pupils making at least expected progress across KS2 in reading and mathematics is in line with national averages and is slightly below in mathematics.
Girls outperformed boys in reading and writing at Levels 4 and 5. Boys performed as well as girls at Level 4+ in mathematics and outperformed them at Levels 5 and 6. This mirrors the national picture.
Edenham High School
Pupils eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) in Croydon have outperformed the same group nationally at %+ A*-C including English and mathematics, at 53% against the national average of 36%. The FSM achievement gap for pupils achieving this key indicator continues to be narrower in Croydon (11%) than nationally (25%). The gap has narrowed in Croydon this year by 5% compared with 1% nationally. This is a very positive development.
Research from the CBI found that more than two-thirds of employers said school and college leavers lacked vital "employability skills". Some 42 per cent said they were unsatisfied with the basic use of English. More than a third were alarmed by numeracy standards.

(The Telegraph, 9 May 2011)
A study by Cambridge University's exam board found that more than nine out of 10 first-year students felt secondary education "could have prepared them better for the academic rigour" of higher education.

(The Telegraph, 11 May 2011)
Some of the Left support our reforms
Baroness Estelle Morris, Former Secretary of State for Education and Skills, 13th January 2011
Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, 24 October 2005
What Labour deserve credit for
- Significant extra investment in education
- Starting academy programme

What Labour got wrong...
However, the report found that “England is the only country where the oldest age group has higher proficiency in both literacy and numeracy than the youngest.” Amongst 55 to 65 year-olds, England was ranked 3rd out of 24 for literacy and 11th for numeracy; amongst 16- to 24 year-olds, it was 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy.
Grade inflation
Equivalencies - between 2004 and 2010 number of vocational qualifications taken by those 26 or under increased by 3,800% but the number taking languages and stretching qualifications in science and humanities declined (2009 half of all schools didn’t enter any pupils for all three sciences)

1. Standards

On the face of it standards improved...
In almost every country, younger adults performed better than older people,
During Labour’s 13 years in power the number of pupils getting A*- and A-grade GCSEs inflated by 60 per cent.
(Alan Smithers, ‘GCSE 2011’, University of Buckingham Centre for Education and Employment Research)
The Government has quadrupled the Teach First scheme. They are driving up the number of new high-quality teachers with more rigorous selection, incentives to the very best graduates and recruiting teachers who have worked in other professions such as the armed forces. Almost three-quarters of graduates starting teacher training this academic year have a first-class or 2:1 degree (74 per cent).

1. Better teachers

For primary schools, the minimum standard is for 65 per cent of pupils to reach level 4c in English and maths. However, more than half of those who just manage to reach this level do not go on to secure five good GCSEs including English and maths. So the Government is raising the level pupils are expected to reach and it will also expect 85 percent, not 65 per cent, of pupils to reach this higher level.
For secondary schools, the minimum standard was 40 per cent of pupils gettig 5 A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths. It's been raised to 45 per cent and it's being raised further. See later.
5. More rigorous curriculum and exam system
In addition to their basic funding, secondary schools get £935 for every child from a family that's entitled to free school meals.

Primary Schools get £1,300 and if a school takes a looked after child they get £1,900.

This should mean that students that take large numbers of pupils from deprived backgrounds have extra resources that allow them to provide extra help or to pay great teachers more to come to their school
Total government funding for new school places in Croydon 2011-15: £144 million (cf £17.7 million 2007-11)
On grade inflation: "I felt that this was an issue when I was Secretary of State myself and I didn't do anything about it for all these fears and really because I didn't do anything about it all those years ago it doesn't mean that the problem's gone away and sometimes I think you just have to sense that now maybe is the time to discuss it."
"All schools will be able to have academy style freedoms. All schools will be able to take on external partners. No one will be able to veto parents starting new schools or new providers coming in, simply on the basis that there are local surplus places..."
"I have no problem with free schools at all. As you know I am a strong supporter of diversity in the state system and independently managed schools... I think having a greater diversity of schools is a good thing."
Lord Andrew Adonis, Former Minister of State for Education, 15th January 2011
Case study #1: Oasis Shirley Park
In August 2009, just 26% of Ashburton students got 5 A*-C GCSEs including English and maths; the school was closed and replaced with Oasis Academy Shirley Park

“Students’ achievements are outstanding. Regardless of their starting points, all groups make exceptional progress to exceed the national average greatly by the end of Year 11” - Ofsted, 2013
“Teaching is outstanding...staff are highly committed to ensuring that their students fulfill their potential. They have very high expectations of the students and successfully challenge, nurture and support them at every stage in their studies”.
“Behaviour is outstanding. Students take immense pride in the academy and everything it offers. The extensive site is clean and tidy and students enjoy and respect their social areas. Movement around the sight is invariably calm and orderly and excellent classroom behaviour helps to foster outstanding learning”.
“Outstanding leadership and governance, especially from the inspirational principal, ensure that the academy makes rapid progress and meets its challenging targets. At every level, leaders show a remarkable level of commitment to ensuring that students flourish and that the quality of teaching and learning continues to improve”.
How has it been achieved?
“We know that background, place of birth or post code need never be an obstacle in fulfilling your dreams and aspirations. We accept no excuses and we have extremely high expectations”. Glen Denham, Principal
Case study #2: Quest Academy
The Quest Academy replaced Selsdon High in September 2010. In August 2010, just 23% of Selsdon High students got 5 A*-C GCSEs including English and maths; three years later that figure has nearly trebled to 63%
Quest Academy
Quest Academy
A three form of entry academy at Segas House at the junction of Katharine Street and Wellesley Road
A two form entry school at Spices Yard off Aberdeen Road
A three form of entry school at the Westways Centre on St James's Road.
The Council is in the process of permanently expanding:
Norbury Manor
Parish Church
Howard School
Forestdale School
Whitehorse Manor
Oasis Shirley Park
We are experiencing a huge increase in the demand for school places

The Government has announced that Croydon Council will receive over £96 million between 2014 and 2017 to provide new school places, more than any other council in London and the third highest in the country after Birmingham and Essex, both of which have much higher populations.
The Government has improved the way that basic need funding is allocated to target money at the areas that need new school places the most.
It is the first time that councils have had three-year allocations of funding making it easier for them to plan ahead and ensure every child has a school place.

Croydon's pupils will also benefit from £48.7 million invested through the Targeted Basic Need programme, which will support the local authority to build five new schools and expand three existing schools, creating a further 4,090 new places by September 2015.
This brings the total funding allocated for new school places during the period 2011-15 to
£144 million, compared with
£17.7 million provided to Croydon during 2007-11.
New schools opening
Academies in Croydon

Wolsey Junior
Benson/Harris Primary Academy Benson
Roke/Harris Primary Academy Kenley
Winterbourne Junior Boys' School
Castlehill Primary
Applegarth Primary
Spring Park/Forest Academy
Ark Oval

Whitehorse Manor Infants and Junior
Aerodrome Primary
Atwood Primary
David Livingstone
Ecclesborne Primary/Pegasus Academy
Byron Primary/Oasis Academy Byron
St James the Great
St Cyprians
St Thomas Becket
West Thornton
Ryelands Primary and Nursery
Three new free schools are due to open in September 2014. When full, they will provide an additional 2,410 school places in Croydon.
Paxton Academy
Advance Free School
Harris Invictus New Free School

Ashburton High School/Oasis Shirley Park
Selsdon High School/Quest Academy
Addington High School
Westwood Girls/Harris Upper Norwood
Haling Manor
Stanley Tech/Harris South Norwood
Coulsdon High/Oasis Coulsdon

Shirley High School
Woodcote High School
Riddlesdown Collegiate
Norbury Manor
St Joseph's College
Young people educated under the last Labour Government have some of the worst levels of literacy and numeracy in the developed world.
2. Gap between rich and poor achievement
4. Too much prescription from central Government
5. Failure to prepare for growing population of primary aged children
“Our schools should be engines of social mobility, helping children to overcome the accidents of birth and background,”
(The Importance of Teaching, Schools White Paper 2010)
1. Better teachers
2. Better discipline
3. Better leadership for low performing schools
4. More freedom for schools to innovate
5. More rigourous curriculum and exam system
6. More focus on core academic subjects employers value
7. Better ways of holding schools to account
8. More focus for pupils from less well off backgrounds
9. More money for new school places
Reforming teacher training so people spend more time in the classroom - School Direct e.g. Archbishop Tenison's.
2. Better discipline

powers to search pupils, issue same day detentions and use reasonable force;
reformed independent appeals panel;
Behaviour is one of the four criterita Ofsted now assesses
Labour set up the academies programme. Academies are independent state schools. They don't have to follow the national curriculum. They have freedom over pay. They get more financial freedom.

Under Labour, only schools that replaced failing secondary schools could be academies.

This Government has said that any school that is doing well can become academies.

We've also allowed charities, parent groups etc. to set up new academies called 'Free Schools'.

When we came to power there were 203 academies. Today there are 3,657 as well as 174 Free Schools.
a. New national curriculum
Slimmed down
Less about how to teach, more focus on core subject knowledge
Replaced IT with computing (Code Club/Tech City)
Maths: stronger emphasis on arithmetic and more demanding content in fractions, decimals and percentages.
English: stronger emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar and on the great works of the literary canon.
b. New qualifications
New GCSEs in core academic subjects from September 2015 - linear rather than modular, much less controlled assessment and more rigorous.
Wolf Review of vocational education
New A-levels from September 2015 - also linear rather than modular. Russell Group universities responsible for detail.
6. More focus on core academic subjects employers value
8. More focus for pupils from less well off backgrounds
9. More money for new school places
Four years later the number getting 5 A*-C grades has more than doubled to 64%.
3. Failure to give teachers power to impose discipline in schools
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education
If a school falls below a minimum standard it is closed and replaced with a new academy.
The Government has raised the minimum standard for both primary and secondary schools.
3. Better leadership for low performing schools
4. More freedom for schools to innovate
The current measure is the percentage of pupils with five GCSEs or equivalents at grade C or better including English and maths.
The problem with this is it incentivises schools to focus only on a few subjects and pupils on C/D borderline plus no measure of progress
From 2016 onwards the measure will be progress across eight subjects English and maths, three further EBacc subjects and three other high-value qualifications. That final group can include further traditional academic subjects such as art, music and drama, and vocational subjects such as engineering and business. English and maths will be double-weighted to reflect their importance.

7. Better ways of holding schools to account
Attainment at English and maths plus progress. In order to measure progress, you clearly need a baseline and the Government is consulting on whether that should be tests at the end of Key Stage 1 or a teacher-led check in Reception (which would have the benefit of allowing us to measure progress during the Infant stage as well as Juniors).


Ofsted now focus on only four criteria instead of 27 - achievement of pupils; quality of teaching; behaviour and safety of pupils; and leadership and management.
At the time, decision to close Ashburton was hugely controversial. It was opposed by the teaching unions; by Andrew Pelling, my predecessor as the Member of Parliament for Croydon Central; by Croydon Labour Party (including Gerry Ryan, my Labour opponent at the last Election, who bizarrely called Ashburton a "good community school" despite the fact that it’s results were shocking and hardly any local parents sent their children there); and by some parents, who - despite the fact that their child’s school clearly needed drastic improvement - worried that change might make things worse before they got better.
A six form entry will open on the Arena site
A paradox?
Concern about pace of changes

“It is only through whole-system reform that education can be transformed to make [the UK] one of the world’s top performers”
“There is no calling more noble, no profession more vital and no service more important than teaching”

Michael Gove, 22 November 2010
Many councils are experiencing this but Croydon is experiencing it more than most.
Full transcript