Barnsley children’s education outcomes continue to improve

Barnsley Council’s Cabinet members have received a report which sets out the provisional education outcomes for the borough’s pupils at each stage of the National Curriculum.

The Provisional Education Outcomes in Barnsley (2018) report presents a comprehensive picture of continuing improvement in all phases of education, including the closing of the gap between Barnsley’s pupils and the national averages, in some areas.

For children in the Early Years Foundation Stage, the percentage of Barnsley children achieving a good level of development continues to improve and the percentage of schools at or above national averages has improved by two percentage points.

The percentage of children at the end of primary school (Key Stage 2) achieving the expected levels in all three subject areas of reading, writing, and maths has increased from 59 per cent to 64 per cent. The rate of improvement locally was double that seen nationally, and Barnsley now equals national performance.

Progress rates for pupils between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 remain above national averages in writing and maths, and have improved in reading; narrowing the gap with national figures.

Outcomes for pupils with special educational needs, including disabilities (SEND) have improved at all key stages.

At Key Stage 4, the percentage of Barnsley students achieving a grade 4 or better (equivalent to a C grade) in both English language/literature and maths was 61 per cent, compared with 59 per cent nationally, which means Barnsley remains above national on this measure.

The report also identifies areas as priorities for improvement, including outcomes for boys at all phases of education; outcomes in reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 1; outcomes for disadvantaged (Pupil Premium) students; Attainment 8 and Progress 8 scores at Key Stage 4; rates of unauthorised absence from school; and levels of exclusion from secondary schools.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for People (Achieving Potential) said:

“Barnsley has been improving at a time when other parts of the country have been dropping back. We’ve always been ambitious in Barnsley and want every child to be able to achieve their potential. There is still more to be done but I am confident that performance in Barnsley schools will continue to improve and that we can build a local schools system which will consistently improve outcomes for every pupil.”

Cabinet members were informed of the improvement actions to be taken as part of improving the quality of leadership, learning and teaching standards in Barnsley schools and academies, together with improving outcomes for disadvantaged pupils and those pupils, at risk of alienation or isolation from school through exclusion and unauthorised absence. Further reports on this improvement activity are to be submitted for Cabinet’s consideration as soon as possible.  

The report can be read in full here.

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