Members received an update on the performance of the Harrow Virtual School.
The Personal Education Plans (PEP) returns remained at 100%, with 111 pupils of Statutory School Age ( SSA) on roll. This was a slight drop in cohort numbers by 3 students since last year: 70% of students had been in care for 1 year or longer; 50% were educated outside of Harrow; 95% attended schools which were Ofsted rated as ‘Good’ or better; and 23% had an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
Regarding school attendance, 80% (84/105) of pupils had an ‘X’ mark (the mark given when children cannot attend school due to a Covid-19 related matter). The ‘X’ mark was an authorised absence. Furthermore, 78% attended school, 8% had had suspension. However, no child had been permanently excluded.
The following attainment results were noted: Reception - 60% (3/5) achieved ‘good level of development’ in Early Years’ Assessments, with the England average being 48%; Key Stage 1 - 67% (2/3) achieved ‘expected standards’ in Writing, Reading and Maths. The England average: 52%-Reading, 49% Maths and 42% for Writing; Key Stage 2 - 67% (2/3) achieved ‘greater depth’ in Reading, with the England average being 12%, and 67% (2/3) had achieved ‘expected standards’ in Writing, with the England average being 50%; and 33% (1/3) of pupils achieved ‘expected standards’ in Maths, where the England average was 51%.
Three students had undertaken A levels courses (or equivalent). Two of them obtained 3 A level passes; and the other achieved a Level 3 BTEC. Their destinations were: student 1 - Criminology degree course at Greenwich University; student 2: Level 4 Art Course at West Herts College; and student 3 would be taking a gap year to work and get experience before heading to university next academic year to study paediatric nursing.
The following were highlighted as priorities for the coming year:
1) catch-up interventions to support children who had fallen behind with their learning;
2) increase the number of children with good school attendance from 90% to 95% or higher;
3) increase the Attainment 8 Score (18) to be in line with or above the England Average (21);
4) review education packages for ‘hard to reach’ Key Stage 3 and Key 4 students; and
5) Black and Asian boys had been identified as a vulnerable group, who represented 57% of the cohort with a suspension. Further interventions would be explored for all pupils at risk of receiving a suspension.
Members queried what interventions were in place to assist young students who were prone to get into challenges at school. Was there any unconscious bias in some of the decisions to suspend or exclude students from certain ethnic backgrounds?
It was advised that there was support from teachers and Social Workers to assist students to remain focused on their studies, and some were encouraged to seek “time out” from stressful situations. Furthermore, there had not been any reports of “unconscious bias” or racism being behind reasons to suspend or exclude students.
Members expressed their appreciation to the leadership of the Harrow Virtual School for their hard work over the years, and welcomed the improvements made.
RESOLVED: That the Update be noted.