Provisional educational outcomes for 2023

Our Cabinet members will receive the provisional education outcomes for children and young people in the borough for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (Primary Phase) Key Stages 4 and 5 (Secondary and Post 16), at their next meeting on Wednesday, 13 December.

This is the latest in the series of annual reports to Cabinet on the provisional education outcomes in Barnsley.

Due to the impact of Covid during 2020 and 2021, all GCSE and A level examinations were cancelled, and outcomes for all pupils nationally were awarded based on teacher assessed grades. Results are not directly comparable to results from these years therefore, all figures reported below will show a comparison between 2023 and 2022.

Successes this year include:

  • Pupils are making strong progress through the early years. By the end of the reception year, the proportion of pupils achieving a good level of development is above national figures.
  • In the Year 1 phonics screening check, the attainment of all pupil groups is better than national average, especially in relation to our disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND, going against the decline seen nationally Barnsley ranks in the top 4 percent of all schools nationally.
  • By the end of Key Stage 1, outcomes remain above the national average in reading, writing, and maths.
  • By the end of Key Stage 2, the proportion of pupils achieving the expected standard in all three subjects (reading, writing and mathematics) is above national figures.
  • Barnsley pupils are strong in maths at Key Stage 2. Regionally they are ranked: fourth at high standard passes; second in the scaled score, and third in average progress
  • At Key Stage 4 (GCSE) pupils with an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) have achieved an impressive increase and are ranked first in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
  • In The Basics (Grade 4 or above in both English Language or Literature and Mathematics) 61.8 percent of pupils achieved a standard pass at grade 9 - 4. Barnsley has achieved greater in this measure than the statistical neighbour average, and also outperformed Rotherham (59.4 percent) and Sheffield (61.1 percent) in this measure
  • For Progress 8, which measures the average progress of each school’s pupils against their average attainment level at the end of primary school, Barnsley’s rate of improvement is narrowing the gap to the national average and sits above the statistical neighbour average. Pupils with an EHCP have outperformed both regional and national cohorts in this area.
  • At Key Stage 5 (A-level) we are pleased to report a 100 percent pass rate.

In terms of the picture at Key Stage 4 our results demonstrate a mixed picture this time, given the grading boundaries, which were repurposed to be more in line with the 2019 examination criteria. We found those children just on the cusp of achieving a good Grade 4 level (C) pass rate particularly in Maths and English just missing out. Early national analysis shows an overall picture of reductions across all measures for both our statistical and regional neighbours. Barnsley performed better than the statistical neighbour average across all measures but lower than the national averages

A number of actions will be taken to improve attainment and other areas as a consequence of our Borough Education Improvement Strategy (2022-25).

The Quality of Education sub-group also met at the start of this academic year in order to set and collectively agree our five key priorities for raising attainment by the end of the primary phase for all pupils, especially disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND which are detailed as follows:

Priority 1: Increase the attainment of pupils with SEND in the early years so that Good Level of Development is more in line with national figures, especially SEND support.

Priority 2: Ensure that boys who meet the Y1 phonics standard go onto achieve as expected in reading by the end of Key Stage 1.

Priority 3: Continue to raise attainment in the Y4 Multiplication Tables Check. Ensure that schools are using additional funding to help SEND and disadvantaged pupils to learn their times tables to narrow the attainment gap with other pupils.

Priority 4: Improve the progress that pupils make in reading so that attainment at both standards improves.

Priority 5: Ensure that more pupils learn how to write at greater depth and achieve the highest standard in mathematics.

Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said:

The Barnsley Schools’ Alliance along with secondary and college leaders remain committed to strengthening transition pathways for our young people so that they can fulfil their potential. We maintain our unrelenting ambition for Barnsley children and young people and are focused on improving education outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable.

The Cabinet report can be read in full here 

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