This week I report on the release of this year’s interim KS2 SATs results, confirmation that universal infant school meals will continue and that the Government is still considering the responses received from the consultation on proposals for a new national funding formula and the publication of updated guidance on preventing bullying.
Increase in pupils achieving the expected standard in this year’s KS2 results
On Tuesday, the Department for Education (DfE) released the interim 2017 Key Stage 2 attainment figures with 61% of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics, compared to 53% last year. Scaled scores which indicate how many marks pupils need to achieve the expected standard were also released.
The results are the first of several statistical publications that will analyse pupils’ performance in the SATs. The local authority results are due to be published in August. The floor standard thresholds, which are used to highlight which schools may require intervention will be published in September, and the number of schools below the floor standards will be revealed in December when the performance tables are published.
The Government has already said that “a broadly similar” proportion of schools will be below the floor standard compared to 2016, when 665 schools were below the floor standard.
Confirmation that universal infant school meals will continue
This week the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, confirmed in Parliament that plans to remove universal infant school meals had been scrapped. The plans to save £650 million by stopping free meals for all infant schools in favour of an entirely means-tested policy for all primary school pupils had prompted criticism when they were announced during the election campaign. However, the announcement has raised fresh questions about the Government’s manifesto pledge to increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion, most of which was due to be funded through scrapping universal infant free school meals.
Mr Gibb said the Government was in the process of looking at the 25,000 responses to its consultation on proposals for a new national funding formula, and would respond with its plans in due course.
Guidance for schools on preventing and responding to bullying
The DfE has merged its publications ‘Supporting children and young people who are bullied: advice for schools’ with ‘Preventing and tackling bullying’. The new version of ‘Preventing and tackling bullying‘ includes additional information about how schools can support children and young people who are bullied.