Virtual Schoolbag (VSB)

15 Oct 2018
Governors, headteachers of all primary, special schools
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2018/314
Celebrating Significant Improvement in Primary Outcomes

This year in East Sussex (ES) we are celebrating a significant improvement in the KS2 results and continued high standards in all primary and early years outcomes.

In the county in recent years we have seen significant improvement in the outcomes for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) with outstanding results which put us consistently well above national. In ES 76.5% of children at the end of the EYFS achieve a good level of development compared to 71.6% nationally. We have also started to close the gender gap and improve the proportion of disadvantaged and SEND children achieving a good level of development.

At KS1 we have improved performance in phonics for year 1 children, taking us just above national. At the end of KS1 the percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths (RWM) puts us consistently above national. Our outcomes for children with SEND or those deemed to be disadvantaged fell back slightly against national at KS1 and improving outcomes for vulnerable groups continues to be a priority at KS1 as with all KSs.

At KS2 we have seen the most rapid improvement with results that bring us broadly in line with national for the first time in a long while. The headline measure for ES pupils achieving the expected standard in RWM was 63.7% less than one percent below national at 64.2%. This is a fantastic achievement and the rate of improvement is more than double the national rate of improvement. This gain is across all areas and is particularly gratifying in maths which has been an area of focus. Even more importantly we have improved the outcomes significantly for disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND. The 8% improvement for disadvantaged pupils achieving the expected standard takes us to 49.1% compared to 50.7% nationally, and the 6.3% improvement for SEND pupils achieving the expected standard takes us to 21.8% compared to 23.8% nationally. The rate of improvement in all measures is considerably faster than all national comparators. This is a fantastic achievement for all our schools and pupils and means that we have significantly more children better prepared to make a successful transition to secondary education.

At the recent breakfast briefings for headteachers and chairs of governors it was fantastic to be able to celebrate these achievements. This is a positive reflection of the county’s improvement journey and the move from schools working hard at fixing issues for particular year groups to leading and driving culture change. This work requires courageous leaders who are confident, raise expectations, take risks for the right reasons, focus on quality of teaching and learning, challenge underperformance, reflect and learn, but most of all challenge and support each other, sharing good practice. All this means that we are heading into this academic year with solid foundations from which to consolidate and embed our improvements, clear about our priorities and aiming to be above national by summer 2019.

Links to the documents from the HT breakfast briefings can be found here: https://czone.eastsussex.gov.uk/school-effectiveness/school-improvement-resources/2018-annual-autumn-breakfast-briefings/ 

Laura-Jane Marshall
Carrie Beech
Head of Service: Primary and Early Years

Phone: 07921910226
Email: Carrie.Beech@eastsussex.gov.uk