Schools in Coventry serve communities that are relatively more deprived than the England average; and a diverse population with a significantly higher number of pupils with English as an additional language. To address the challenges, the Council has worked closely with schools to create a shared vision for school improvement and to provide the enabling infrastructure for school improvement and school-to-school support.
Coventry’s school improvement model has delivered results. Schools across the board are much improved – and the deep partnership networks developed help provide peer challenge and support to ensure those standards can be maintained and the needs of all children can be met effectively.
In 2018/19 (March 2019), 95% of pupils attended a good/outstanding primary school – an improvement from 42% just seven years ago. In secondary, 80% of pupils attended a good/outstanding school – an improvement from 59% just three years ago. In special schools, 100% of pupils attend a good/outstanding special school.
The Council monitors results at the end of year 6 (key stage 2), year 11 (key stage 4) and year 13 (key stage 5).
In 2018, the key stage 2 expected standard in reading, writing and maths improved by 4%-points to 62%. This is 1% above the average for similar areas. All key priority groups have made positive progress apart from Asian Chinese, White and Black African and White Asian.
The city’s attainment 8 score improved from 42.8 to 43.3. Positive progress was made across all key priority groups, including boys, pupil eligible for pupil premium, White boys eligible for pupil premium, special educational needs, looked after children, Black Other, Asian Pakistani, White and Black African, White, White and Asian.
The city’s progress 8 score improved from -0.12 to -0.08.
At key stage 4, GCSE A* to G grades are being gradually replaced with grades 9 to 1; a grade 9 is the highest mark. At a school and city level, attainment and progress are measured using attainment 8 and progress 8.
The percentage of pupils achieving grades 9-5 (good pass) and 9-4 (standard pass) in English and maths both increased in 2018, to 37.5% and 60.2% respectively.
For Key Stage 4: (grades 9-5) English & Maths, data before 2017 is not comparable.
At primary, the city is now on par with the most recent England rate of 0.03% (2016/17). At secondary, the city is below the England rate of 0.20% (2016/17). The Council provides support and guidance to schools to deal with challenging pupils, including supported transfer and interventions for pupils at risk, and working with special educational needs and disability information, advice and support.
Further work needs to be done to raise aspirations of young people to take on the significant and growing opportunities available in the city and region. Their aspirations may be raised by improving their awareness of the significant and growing opportunities in highly paid jobs available in the city, and their requirement for people with the right skills and qualifications.
University Go!, a partnership programme between Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council, the University of Warwick, and Coventry University, recognises looked-after children with potential to benefit from university study, and informs them, their carers, social workers, and schools, on the accessible routes into higher education. This was highlighted as good practice in the ‘12 by 24’ report by the Centre for Social Justice, a think tank, to the All Party Parliamentary University Group.