WELCOME BACK TO A NEW SCHOOL YEAR
This week I report on the provisional data for KS2 tests taken this summer, the increased funding for the PE and Sports premium, a free webinar on implementing the GDPR in schools and new research on the attainment gap between pupil premium pupils and their peers.
Primary school performance and accountability
The DfE has published provisional data about attainment in the 2017 Key Stage 2 tests taken this summer. 61% of pupils reached the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics. This is an increase on 53% in 2016, which was the first year that pupils were tested on the new curriculum.
Alongside these statistics, the DfE has updated its primary school accountability guidance with confirmation of the 2017 floor standard. In 2017, a school will be above the floor if either of these conditions are met:
- at least 65% of pupils meet the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics
- the school achieves progress scores of at least -5 in reading, -7 in writing and -5 in mathematics (all three subjects)
The coasting definition for 2017 is expected to be published later this term.
Rate of funding doubles for the PE and sports premium
Just after the end of the last school year the DfE released the latest rate of funding for the PE and sports premium in primary schools, and due to the levy on soft drinks which was introduced in 2017, the rate of funding has doubled when compared to 2016.
Schools will now receive £1,000 per pupil (if there are 16 or fewer in a school) or £16,000 (with 17 or more pupils) and an additional £10 per pupil. This money can be used for a range of sporting and exercise activities in schools, but can’t be used to “teach the minimum requirements of the national curriculum” or “employ coaches or specialist teachers to cover planning preparation and assessment (PPA) arrangements”.
Like the pupil premium, governors are responsible for ensuring that this money is well spent.
How to implement GDPR in your school webinar
From May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will apply to all schools and some governing bodies are starting to think about what this will mean. Browne Jacobson (the National Governance Association’s legal partner) is giving a free webinar on the GDPR and how this will impact schools across the country. The webinar will look at the approach schools should be taking to reach GDPR compliance and will cover:
- Where does the responsibility for GDPR lie and who should be the Data Protection Officer (DPO)?
- What does ‘explicit consent’ mean and how is ‘personal data’ defined?
- What do we need to audit?
- Will GDPR be a priority for Ofsted?
- What are the risks and costs to our school?
The webinar will take place on Tuesday 12 September at 4.00 p.m. To register, use this link to go to Browne Jacobson’s website.
Closing the gap? Research on disadvantage and achievement
Research conducted by the Education Policy Institute was published in early August and found that if current trends continue it will take around 50 years for the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers to close completely.
The report looked at the attainment gap between pupils eligible for pupil premium and their peers at the end of key stages throughout their time in school. Key findings include:
- between 2007 and 2016, the attainment gap as measured at the end of secondary school has narrowed by 3 months – but the gap for persistently disadvantaged pupils has widened slightly by 0.3 months
- disadvantaged pupils were on average 19.3 months behind their peers by the time they took their GCSEs (in 2016)
- there are variations between regions and local authority areas, with the biggest attainment gap found in the Isle of Wight (29 months) and the smallest in the London boroughs of Southwark, Wandsworth and Tower Hamlets (7 months)
Governors should ensure that they consider the progress of disadvantaged pupils (in comparison to other pupils in their school and nationally) when assessing the impact of their school’s pupil premium spending.