Funding to hit exam targets

Headlands school GCSE results,Jonathan Hall and Harry Burton read their results. picture Richard Ponter 113437g
Headlands school GCSE results,Jonathan Hall and Harry Burton read their results. picture Richard Ponter 113437g

RECOMMENDATIONS that schools in the East Riding receive extra funding to improve their GCSE results were expected to be agreed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council yesterday.

A review panel set up to investigate poor exam results from some East Riding schools last year, chaired by Bridlington central and old town councillor Richard Burton, recommended pledging an extra £200,000 to help schools reach GCSE targets.

Last year saw a dip in students achieving the gold standard of five GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths and English, which saw the council fall from their best national placing of 38 out of 151 local authorities in 2010, to 110 in 2011.

However, despite the county-wide downward trend, Bridlington and Headlands Schools both posted encouraging results.

Coun Burton said: “The panel were aware that the dip in results was due to a small number of students not performing as well as expected.

“If only 10 more students from each of our secondary schools have achieved a C grade in maths and English then the East Riding would have been in the top quartile nationally.” Coun Burton said the schools improvement review panel wanted to ensure any recommendations for improvements made “were inclusive, securing improved attainment for all pupils”, and recommended setting up an “excellence for all” fund.

Schools will have the chance to bid for extra funding from a pot of £200,000, which would be given to schools controlled by the local authority providing they met a number of criteria.

Other recommendations include schools adopting strategies from a good practice list, and supporting governors to ensure they recruit “first class” leadership team members.

Last summer, Bridlington School were delighted to discover they had come top of the league in the East Riding for pupil progress, with the percentage of students achieving 5 A*-C grades, including English and Maths, increasing faster than at 18 other secondary schools in the county.

Headlands School boasted a 15 per cent increase in students receiving 5 A*-C grades, the school’s best results ever, while those attaining the Gold Standard of 5 A*-C with English and Maths remained static from the previous year.

East Riding Council has long complained of its schools being among the worst funded in the country.

Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and schools at East Riding Council, said: “The panel has identified that improvements can be achieved with a relatively small sum and even in these financially constrained times, I have ascertained that funding can be made available to those schools that meet the criteria to deliver results.

“The authority recognises that our schools have struggled with years of underfunding from central government and if these additional resources can make a difference then it is right that we provide them.

“Longer term, we hope that central government will act on the now recognised fact that the East Riding is one of the worst funded in the country and provide adequate, sustainable and fair funding to allow our schools to provide the quality education for all pupils that they strive to do at present.”