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Below, for information, are extracts from two reports presented to Education & Vulnerable Children Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 9th December 2015: ‘Birmingham Schools Performance Overview 2015’ and ‘Examination and Assessment Results 2015’. The extracts comprise all the text but with the graphs omitted. The original papers are on the Council website at https://birmingham.cmis.uk.com/birmingham/Meetings/tabid/70/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/397/Meeting/93/Committee/11/Default.aspx. A webcast is also available.

 Summary

Birmingham’s performance against national outcomes is a concern as Birmingham’s performance is below most of the national indicators from Early Years right through to Key stage 5. There has been an improvement in performance in some areas since 2014, however it has not been sufficient to match national performance.

Early Years Foundation Stage

 62% of children in Birmingham achieved a Good Level of Development in 2015

  • A rise on 56% in 2014
  • Although Birmingham has not closed the gap with national average
  • 4% below national levels for last two years
  • Although Birmingham EYFS performance is below national and West Midlands Levels.
  • Performance is consistently in line with or above core cities and statistical neighbours

Birmingham has improved from 2014 to 2015 by 6 percent in a Good Level of Development (GLD), however Birmingham’s performance is 4 percent below national

When looking at Birmingham’s performance in relation to statistical neighbours, core cities and West Midlands groups’ performance is variable. Birmingham is above statistical neighbours and core cities from 2013 to 2015 for Good Level of Development.

However, Birmingham is below both national and West Midlands from 2013 to 2015

Phonics

 Phonics –Year 1 and Year 2

  • Phonics Year 1 outcomes improved by 3 % from 2014 to 2015, now 1% below national

The percentage of Birmingham children judged to be working at the expected level (Year 1 pass rate) in 2015 increased to 76 percent from 73 percent in 2014. However, while the underperformance gap with national has narrowed from the position in 2014, Birmingham’s performance is still below the national average of 77 percent by 1 percent.

A similar trend exists when comparing Birmingham’s performance in relation to statistical neighbours, core cities and West Midlands groups’ as identified in Early Years. Birmingham is above statistical neighbours and core cities from 2013 to 2015 for Year 1 pass rate.

Birmingham has underperformed compared to the West Midlands since 2013 and while performance was in line with national in 2013, Birmingham has not match the national improvements in 2014 and 2015.

The percentage of Birmingham children judged to be working at the expected level (Year 2 pass rate) in 2015 increased to 89 percent by 2 percent, compared with 87 percent in 2014. However Birmingham’s performance is still below national average of 90 percent by 1 percent.

Key Stage 1

Birmingham’s performance in pupils’ attaining a level 2 or above shows slight improvement for writing, reading and maths, year on year. However Birmingham has not matched, nor closed the gap, in all of the subject areas since 2013. Birmingham is 3 percent below national for writing, 2 percent below national for both reading and Maths in 2015.

When comparing performance to statistical neighbours, core cities and West Midlands, Birmingham is inline or above statistical neighbours and core cities. However below national and West Midlands authorities for all subjects

Birmingham’s Free School Meal (FSM) children achieve better outcomes consistently from 2013 to 2015 for all subjects in Key stage 1 when comparing to FSM children to statistical neighbours, core cities and West Midlands

Key Stage 1 –Reading

  • 89% of pupils at Key Stage 1 pupils achieved Level 2 or above.
  • A rise on 88% in 2014
  • While performance has been below national levels in recent years, the gap is closing
  • Performance is also slightly better than statistical neighbours and core city averages.

Key Stage 1 –Writing

  • 85% of pupils at Key Stage 1 pupils achieved Level 2 or above.
  • A rise on 84% in 2014
  • However performance has been below national levels in recent years, and the gap is widening
  • It is also worse when compared to the West Midlands
  • Performance is in line with statistical neighbours and Core City averages

Key Stage 1 –Maths

  • 91% of pupils at Key Stage 1 pupils achieved Level 2 or above.
  • A rise on 90% in 2014
  • However performance has been below national levels in recent years –as well as worse when compared to the West Midlands as a whole
  • Performance is in line with statistical neighbours and Core City averages

Key Stage 2 (based on provisional data)

  • The percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 or above:
  • 86% (86% in 2014) in Reading 85% (84%) in Writing
  • 84% (82%) in Mathematics Test
  • 76% (75%) in combined Reading, Writing and Mathematics
  • comparisons with national averages… slight improvement in narrowing the gap in 2015 but still performing below national.
  • Reading needs most improvement, particularly at Level 5 and above.

Birmingham performance for both measures is below all groups, and improvement is required.

The 2015 Key stage 2 (KS2) combinations of tests and teacher assessments show that the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above has improved in most subjects for Birmingham year on year.

However, Birmingham is below national for reading, writing and maths, see below:

– Reading 86 percent, 3 percent below national

– Writing 85 percent, 2 percent below national

– Maths 84 percent, 3 percent below national

– Reading, Writing and mathematics 76 percent, 4 percent below national

A similar profile exists when comparing Birmingham’s performance to West Midlands., Birmingham is below both national and West Midlands authorities for Level 4 and above in reading, writing and maths.

Birmingham’s disadvantaged children achieved significantly better outcomes when comparing to West Midlands disadvantaged children in 2013, but West Midlands significant improvement in 2014 has seen the gap closing

KEY STAGE 2 FLOOR STANDARD & COASTING

At Key Stage 2 the floor standard is now:

  • 65% level 4 and above combined in reading, writing and mathematics
  • 94% 2 levels of progress in reading,
  • 96% 2 levels of progress in writing,
  • 93% 2 levels of progress in mathematics.

In Birmingham for 2015, 27schools are currently below the floor standards using provisional Key Stage 2 data for 2015.

Coasting schools criteria is applied for three consecutive years, for primary:

  • 85% level 4 and above combined in reading, writing and mathematics
  • 94% 2 levels of progress in reading,
  • 96% 2 levels of progress in writing,
  • 93% 2 levels of progress in mathematics.
  • In Birmingham 29 schools have fallen below coasting thresholds for two consecutive years up to 2015.
  • Of which 25 school have the potential to become coasting schools in 2016 if standards do not improve based on provisional KS2 data for 2015.

Progress

Pupils are expected to make at least two levels of progress from Key stage 1 to Key stage 2.

Birmingham pupils achieved 89 percent in 2 levels of progress for reading, which is a 1 percent decrease from 2014 compared to 2015. While progress levels have reduced below that of 2014 for both national and West Midlands pupils, Birmingham’s reduction is greater therefore widening the gap

Birmingham children achieved 93 percent in 2 levels progress for writing, no change in performance from 2013 to 2015. While progress was in line with national in 2014, in 2015 Birmingham has not kept up with the national improvements and are now 1 percent behind

Birmingham children achieved 88 percent in 2 levels progress for maths, which is a 1 percent decrease from 2014 compared to 2015. However Birmingham’s progress results are 2 percent below national, 1 percent below West Midlands with a significant widening gap when compared to national particularly

 Key Stage 4 (based on provisional data)

  • The percentage of pupils achieving GCSEs or equivalent, first entry:
  • In 2015 54% of pupils achieved 5 or more A* to C GCSEs including English and Maths –a fall from 56% in 2014.
  • Levels are below national averages
  • Birmingham performance for both measures of a good standard of GCSEs is better than Core Cities and Statistical neighbours

The percentage of Birmingham students achieving GCSEs or equivalent in 2015 is 2 percent below national:

– 54 percent, in 5 or more A*- C including English & maths compared to the national figure of 56 percent.

– 64 percent, 5 or more A* – C compared to the national figure of 66 percent.

Attainment outcomes for 2015 show an overall decline from 2014, Birmingham shows 2 percent decrease in 5 or more A*- C including English & maths. While results have decreased from 2014 both nationally and for the West Midlands the decrease in Birmingham is greater

For the main measure 5 or more A*- C including English & maths Birmingham is above core cities and statistical neighbours, however below national and West Midlands. Whereas for pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C Birmingham is above West midlands, core cities and statistical neighbours but below national.

The percentage of Birmingham children making expected progress in English and maths is varied:

– 71.8 percent in English, national for 2015 is 70.2 percent.

– 63.6 percent in maths, national for 2015 is 66.6 percent.

The expected progress for English has dipped by 1.8 percent year on year, however Birmingham is above national by 1.6 percent and above West Midlands, core cities and statistical neighbours.

The expected progress for maths is a concern as it has dipped by 2.1 percent year on year, Birmingham is below national by 3 percent, above core cities and statistical neighbours and below West Midlands

KEY STAGE 4 FLOOR STANDARD & COASTING

 At Key Stage 4 the floor standard is now:

  • 40% 5 or more A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English & Maths
  • 73% 3 levels of progress in English,
  • 67% 3 levels of progress in Maths
  • In Birmingham for 2015, 14 schools are currently below the floor standards using provisional Key Stage 4 data for 2015.

Coasting schools criteria is applied for three consecutive years, for secondary:

  • 60% 5 or more A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English & Maths
  • 73% 3 levels of progress in English,
  • 67% 3 levels of progress in Maths
  • In Birmingham 14 schools have fallen below coasting thresholds for two consecutive years up to 2015.
  • All of these 14 schools have the potential to become coasting schools in 2016 if standards do not improve based on provisional KS4 data for 2015.

Key Stage 5 (based on provisional data)

 The percentage of Birmingham students achieving A ‘Levels against key measures are:

– 3 or more A*-E at A Level, 78 percent (no change from 2014)

– 2 or more A*-E at A Level, 90 percent (1 percent increase), national is 91 percent

– Average Point Score per A Level Entry, 214.5 (0.6 points decrease), national is 213.3

– Average Point Score per A Level Student, 725.1 (17.5 points decrease), national is 769

– 3 A Levels at grades AAB or higher in at least 3 facilitating subjects, 10.6 percent (0.6 decrease), national is 8%

– 3 A Levels at grades AAB or higher in at least 2 facilitating subjects, 16.4 percent, (0.9 decrease), national is 13%

The overall performance in most measures has shown a decrease, however Birmingham’s performance in AAB grades in facilitating subjects remains strong against national and core cities: due partly to the high number of entries from the City’s grammar schools. A concern is the significant drop in the Average Point Score per A Level Student and the sustained gap against national.

  • Birmingham performance for 3 or more A’ Levels shows an overall decrease from 2014 to 2015.
  • However Birmingham schools only perform 1 percent better than National (schools and colleges).
  • Birmingham for 3 A’ Levels AAB above in all groups, positive performance for both measures.
  • However Birmingham’s performance in AAB grades in facilitating subjects remains strong against national and core cities: due partly to the high number of entries from the City’s grammar schools

Service Priorities and Tackling Underperformance

 Birmingham has employed a range of strategies to improve outcomes for all its pupils. A programme of interventions and training has been delivered through the Birmingham Teaching School Alliances. Good practice workshops have been offered by high performing schools with good practice to share. School to school support has focused on specific areas of need, particularly in reading, writing and maths with underperforming schools a priority.

From the beginning of September 2015 a new partnership arrangement with the Birmingham Education Partnership has been implemented which will build on the existing school to school support arrangements and provide additional capacity for school improvement across the city.

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