Virtual Schoolbag (VSB)

10 Sep 2018
Business managers, bursars and secretaries, governors, headteachers of all primary, all-through schools
Priority / Statutory requirement
17 Oct 2018
LA Categorisation of primary and special schools 2018

The local authority (LA) has a statutory responsibility to categorise its schools and the purpose of this VSB is to communicate the plans for this process during the autumn of 2018.

School Improvement Procedures

The LA has previously set out the process of categorising schools within Excellence for All (Appendix 1: School Improvement Procedures). The primary schools’ process in autumn 2016 and 2017 received very positive feedback, especially in respect of the way it dovetailed with school adviser visits and evaluation. This was similar for secondary schools, the key approach being to give weight to the school’s own view, provided all the evidence brought forward supported this.

The LA is aiming to retain a very similar model in autumn 2018 which is reflected in the updated School Improvement Procedures for 2018/19.

The process in 2018

Primary adviser visits and reporting (September/October 2018)

These visits will take place in the same way as in 2016 and 2017, with a similar reporting format for the ‘Primary School Standards Visit’ report a copy of which is available on Czone here. Schools and advisers will again be provided with a School Performance Data Summary (SPDS) report, which will be updated as new data becomes available.

Headteachers need to add information about outcomes in years 1, 3, 4 and 5 then send it to the adviser, along with the school development plan and self-evaluation document; well before the data and categorisation visit.

Advisers will work with headteachers to triangulate evidence, including internal school progress data, the progress that is evident in pupils’ work and other evidence available. The visit report form should be largely complete by the day of the visit.

The same process is in place for special schools.

Category decisions (October 2018)

After advisers submit their ‘Standards Visit’ reports the LA will carefully consider the information returned. Where required, there will be further dialogue with schools, before a final decision is made.

If any school has declined the term 1 standards visit we welcome the return of a school completed ‘Primary School Standards Visit’ or ‘Special School Standards Visit’ report. These should be sent to by Wednesday 17 October 2018.

Notification of LA category (November 2018)

Similar to last year, each school will receive a letter confirming the LA category and the process that was used to arrive at this.

If you have any questions or comments about this process, please contact Bill Roddick, Manager – Commissioning,

Bill Roddick
Bill Roddick
Commissioning Manager

Phone: 07920 498244 Mobile