This week I highlight an Ofsted report into A level uptake and retention rates in 2013/14, the release of statistics for young people not in education, employment or training, the latest data from the DfE on the number of Statements of SEN and EHC Plans in place and support being offered to help schools increase take-up of school meals.
OFSTED REPORT INTO A-LEVEL UPTAKE AND RETENTION RATES
Ofsted recently published a short report about the uptake of A-level subjects in 2013/14. It highlighted which subjects were the most popular and provided a breakdown of the male to female ratio for each AS and A-level. It also outlined the retention rate of students who moved from AS to A-level in each subject.
The report was compiled as a follow up to a previous report ‘Maintaining Curiosity’ which, as one of its recommendations, outlined that secondary schools should ‘monitor and evaluate the progression of different groups of pupils and their continuation to science-related pathways in education, employment or training, against the national proportions for those groups’. The new report publishes information to allow schools to make those comparisons.
LATEST STATISTICS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE NOT IN EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT OR TRAINING (NEET)
Official figures released yesterday show that the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds recorded as NEET in January to March 2015 fell annually and is now at the lowest comparable rate since records began in 2001. Now more than nine in ten 16-17 year olds are participating in education or training. This trend continues for 19 to 24 year olds who are NEET with the lowest comparable rate in 10 years.
DATA ON THE NUMBER OF STATEMENTS OF SEN AND EHC PLANS
The Department for Education has this week published data from the annual SEN2 data return, which is mandatory for local authorities to complete. The return is the only source of data to report on all statements of SEN and EHC plans maintained by individual local authorities. The data indicated there were:
- 4,205 statutory Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans in place on 15 January 2015
- 235,980 statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) in place on 15 January 2015
- 1,360 new EHC plans issued between 1 September and 31 December 2014
- 25,780 new statements of SEN issued between 1 January and 31 December 2014
- 2,765 EHC plans transferred from statements of SEN or Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs).
SCHOOL MEAL SUPPORT
The DfE is offering free support to schools to help them increase the take-up of school meals. Make School Meals Count, a scheme being administered by The Children’s Food Trust provides schools with bespoke training, support and materials to help them develop ways of encouraging more pupils to take up school meals. To benefit schools must apply by the end of May. From September this year Ofsted will look at the meals provided by schools as part of its assessment of how they encourage pupils to adopt healthy lifestyles.