Building on success to improve education results for children in Nottinghamshire

14 October 2019

Building on success to improve education results for children in Nottinghamshire.jpg

Nottinghamshire County Council is looking to build on progress made over the past few years to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children and young people in Nottinghamshire, which is a major driver of social mobility.

The Council has launched a new strategy to achieve this, driving positive action.

The Council, working with partners, schools and other education providers, to maximise the impact of available resources and to hold each other to account, has helped to raise the achievements of children and young people in the region.

Actions taken by these organisations, which have led to improvements, are now routine in the county.

Councillor Philip Owen, Children and Young People’s Committee Chairman said: “I am absolutely committed to delivering the very best results that we can for children in Nottinghamshire. While significant progress has been made over the last few years, we must continue to strive for better, doing everything we can to give our young people the best possible start in life, no matter what their background.

“This new strategy builds on past successes in this area, while reflecting new national priorities. It recognises the key role that education can play in breaking down barriers to social mobility, faced by too many young people, helping them to achieve their potential and giving them a better future.”

“By removing these barriers, we can open new opportunities for young people to go onto further education or rewarding careers.”

Outcomes for children and young people eligible for free school meals, which is a widely recognised indicator used to measure economic disadvantage, have improved year on year since 2012-13.

The percentage of children in Nottinghamshire eligible for free school meals who achieved the expected standard rose by 12% from 2013 - 2018, both at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (age 5) and at the end of Key Stage 2 (age 11).

Outcomes have also improved for children and young people not eligible for free school meals.

Partnership working in areas such as Newark and Worksop has helped to drive positive change. For example, in Newark, those young people eligible for free school meals who met the expected standard in Key Stage 4 English and maths rose from 20.5% in 2016 to 34.4% in 2017. In Worksop, for Key Stage 2 eligible children, it rose from 37% to 50.8% from 2016 to 2017, and from 66.9% in 2015 to 75% in 2017 for Key Stage 4.

Success of the strategy will be measured in different ways, including progress towards the number of disadvantaged children in the county being in line with or above the national average for comparable groups in reading, writing and maths. It also intends to reduce the number of young people in the Year 12 or 13 age bracket who are not in education, employment and training.

By increasing the number of disadvantaged young people who leave education with better qualifications and skills, the Council can help them to find higher paid, more skilled jobs, and contribute to a more skilled workforce.

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