Education bosses to create action plan on education quality in Banbury and across Oxfordshire

Education bosses are to create an action plan on education quality in schools in Banbury and across Oxfordshire.
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In a statement today (Tuesday) Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) said it is set to act on recommendations from a far-reaching deep-dive into education quality in the county to improve outcomes for all children.

OCC’s cabinet endorsed the recommendations of an independent Education Commission, set up by OCC in late 2022 to look at how the council, alongside all state-funded schools, education settings and partners, can improve outcomes and equality for all children in Oxfordshire.

The commission found that young people in Oxfordshire tend to achieve good outcomes compared to the national average but has made a total of 17 proposals to help improve things further – including tackling the inequalities faced by some children and young people.

An education commission has done a 'deep dive' into education quality in Oxfordshire leading to a proposed action plan for improvement. Library picture by GettyAn education commission has done a 'deep dive' into education quality in Oxfordshire leading to a proposed action plan for improvement. Library picture by Getty
An education commission has done a 'deep dive' into education quality in Oxfordshire leading to a proposed action plan for improvement. Library picture by Getty

For more detail and to see how Banbury rated in the different sections of the examination, see the full report here.

As an example of areas for improvement generally the commission found:

  • Oxfordshire ranks in the bottom quartile nationally for the proportion of disadvantaged pupils achieving (1) a good level of development in the early years (6%pts below national), (2) at least the expected standard in phonics in Year 1 (10%pts below national), (3) at least the expected standard in reading, writing, mathematics and RWM combined at KS1 (5%pts, 10%pts, 7%pts, 9%pts below national respectively) and KS2 (5%pts, 7%pts, 9%pts, 10%pts below national respectively) and (4) Attainment 8 scores at KS4 (2.9%pts below national)
  • In relation to almost all measures, the Free School Meals (FSM) and disadvantage gap has widened more in Oxfordshire compared to changes in the gap nationally
  • Pupils of minority ethnicities performed less well than their peers nationally at all key stages. Black heritage pupils were found to have the lowest outcomes among their peers.

OCC’s action plan will have clear timescales, impact measures and an investment plan to deliver on the proposals made.

Gail Tolley, Chair of the Oxfordshire Education Commission, said: “We have made some strong recommendations for Oxfordshire to improve educational outcomes for children from certain demographic groups.

“I am pleased with the response to the commission’s recommendations, which the council have now endorsed and I look forward to seeing the impact they will have on the children and young people of Oxfordshire.”

Councillor Liz Brighouse, OCC Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Youth Services, said: “We welcome the recommendations of the Oxfordshire Education Commission. Ninety-two per cent of Oxfordshire pupils attend schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Nationally the figure is 87%.

“However, we know that there is still a gap in educational attainment for our most disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs and disabilities. That’s why we’re committed to acting upon these recommendations to tackle inequalities and create a fairer education system, which ensures everyone can achieve a good outcome.”

As part of its work, the commission spoke to people across the education system in Oxfordshire, including young people and their families, educators, businesses and wider stakeholders, to understand what is working well and what needs to change to create a world class education system.