Agenda and minutes

Children and Education Policy and Accountability Committee
Monday, 25th March, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Small Hall - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: David Abbott 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 28 January 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

The minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Eleanor Allen.

3.

Declarations of Interest

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter.  The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.

 

Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee. 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

4.

School Performance Report 2018 pdf icon PDF 191 KB

This report gives an overview of the outcomes of the Summer 2018 assessments and examinations in the borough’s primary and secondary schools, and the current position with regard to Ofsted school inspections.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jan Parnell (Assistant Director of Education), Lesley Leak (School Advisor), and Keith Tysoe (School Advisor) presented the annual school performance report that detailed the outcomes of the Summer 2018 assessments and examinations in the borough's primary and secondary schools. The report also gave an overview of the current position with regard to Ofsted school inspections. Jan Parnell noted that this was the first set of results since the education service had become a sovereign service in April 2018.

 

Lesley Leak took the Committee through the report and highlighted the following key points:

·         Overall performance at Key Stages 1-4 in schools continues to be above national averages for state funded schools and in line with national at Key Stage 5.

·         In primary schools, at Key Stage 1 and 2, the percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics is above the national average in all three subjects.

·         Hammersmith and Fulham ranked 6th nationally and third in Inner London for the percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 2.

·         In secondary schools, the percentage of students achieving all key indicators is above the national average, and furthermore Hammersmith and Fulham was ranked top in Inner London for performance in: the English Baccalaureate (GCSE grades 9-5) as well as for GCSE grades 9-5 with English and mathematics; and is joint top for Attainment 8 and second for Progress 8 in Inner London.

·         The gap in outcomes for children in receipt of the pupil premium remains smaller than the national gap at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4.

·         The proportion of schools judged to be good or outstanding has improved and is currently above the published national average.

 

Lesley Leak noted that the borough had relatively high proportions of pupils receiving free school meals (22% in primary and 19% in secondary), pupils speaking English as an additional language (48%), and pupils from an ethnic minority background (73%). The Council saw this diversity as a key strength and that was supported by the strong performance figures.

 

Lesley Leak informed the Committee that, regarding Ofsted inspections, almost all schools inspected since March 2018 had either remained 'good' or moved up to 'outstanding'. Only one school, Burlington Danes, had moved down. Overall it was an extremely strong picture.

 

Keith Tysoe addressed the Committee to speak about the attainment of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). He noted that the borough's progress in this area had been commended in a recent Local Area Review. There was further work to do on inclusion - and that would be a focus over next year - but overall SEND was doing well and was well supported.

 

Jan Parnell outlined the Council's key priorities for schools for the upcoming year. Since becoming a sovereign service there had been a period of intense work with schools and the team had established really close working relationships with them. There was now full participation at Schools Forum and 30  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

School Organisation Strategy 2019 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

This report presents the draft school organisation strategy 2019 that provides the Council, schools, and residents with a five-year strategic plan on the delivery of school places through all phases across Hammersmith and Fulham.  

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Kevin Gordon (Head of Assets, Operations and Programmes) and Christine Edwards (Principal Officer, School Place Planning) presented the Council's draft School Organisation Strategy for 2019 which provided the Council, schools, and residents a five-year strategic plan on the delivery of school places through all phases across the borough. Kevin Gordon noted that this was the first organisation strategy to be produced since the department became a sovereign service in April 2018.

 

Kevin Gordon gave some historical context, noting that in past years the GLA had inaccurately forecast an increase in the pupil roll which led a number of Councils in London, including H&F, to build additional schools in preparation. In 2018 the GLA had identified problems with the forecast and the updated figures showed lower pupil numbers for the borough.

 

The Chair asked if officers were confident of the latest projections. Kevin Gordon said the GLA had been very open about the methodology that they got wrong - and since then a number of independent groups had verified the latest figures. There were however various factors that impacted these things that were almost impossible to predict (e.g. policy changes, the impacts of Brexit).

 

Councillor Mark Loveday said the Council should take the figures from the GLA and apply our own experience. He gave the example of the recent riverside development where large numbers of children were predicted but, in reality, relatively few families occupied the units. Kevin Gordon said officers were taking those issues into consideration - particularly for the ongoing Old Oak development. Officers had asked for more precise projections of the number of units and sizes of homes to make more accurate predictions.

 

Kevin Gordon informed the Committee that within five years there would be a significant primary surplus of 26.4%. The secondary roll was within expected levels with a 6.3% surplus by 2023. In terms of financial planning, the Council would be supporting schools over the next five years to help them deal with these issues. There had been a real terms reduction in school funding nationally - calculated by the IFS as a reduction of 8 percent. Officers were working with them on methods to share costs and perhaps reduce their pupil admission number (PAN).

 

Vic Daniels asked how reducing the PAN reduced costs for a school. Officers explained that a school with a one and a half forms of entry each year would have to pay for two teachers but would only get 75 percent of the funding that a school with two full forms of entry would get. Education funding was largely driven by pupil numbers.

 

Matt Jenkins asked if falling rolls would lead to redundancies. Kevin Gordon said officers and schools were looking at solutions like sharing roles when they become vacant.

 

Vic Daniels noted that school funding lagged behind actual pupil numbers as it was based on the previous year's census. He asked if this gave schools enough time to consider cost savings. Kevin said this was part of the reason  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.