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Quality of Education Committee Meeting 28.03.24

Sarah Levy, Director of Education, OWN Trust

The Quality of Education committee met via TEAMS on the 28th of March 2024. Jan clerked the meeting and made sure we remained focused, and Mark Woods chaired the meeting. In attendance were Stuart Mansell (CEO), Headteachers Becky Ford (Woodston Primary School), Colin Marks (Orton Wistow Primary School) and Neil Reilly (Nene Valley Primary School), Nick File (OWN Trust Executive Deputy Headteacher), and Janet Warren (Parent Governor from Orton Wistow Primary School). Also in attendance was Sarah Levy in the role of OWN Trust School Improvement Consultant.

We began the meeting by looking at the end of KS2 forecasts as we were acutely aware that there had been some challenges last year as this new approach to data was being embedded. It was wonderful to see all three schools showing confidence in the accuracy of their data pictures and being able to respond dynamically and individually to situations.

Nene Valley Primary School reported how pleased they were with the progress since the initial GL baseline assessment forecasts to now. Forecasts show that the outcomes should be ones to celebrate again this year. Orton Wistow Primary School reported they have found the transitional change of language to be recorded on Insight a small barrier to overcome, but the work with Trevor Goakes (OWN Trust Executive Deputy Headteacher) has been beneficial. As with all schools, there are some challenges with resilience that could impact outcomes, but they have a robust plan in place to mitigate against this. The governor in attendance echoed from her monitoring how pleased she was with the actions being taken by the school. Woodston Primary School are using data more widely and robustly and this is beneficial to all staff and children. Writing is identified as a big priority, and a plan has been co-written with leaders in the school and is ready for implementation. The use of wider Trust expertise was also discussed.

We also took the time to acknowledge that children are children and that anything can happen on the day of a test: the outcomes of a test are not the sole picture of what a school is doing well. Part of this discussion identified that there will be no progress measure from KS1 this year as this cohort of children going through does not have KS1 data due to Covid closures. We all agreed we remain ambitious and want ‘more’ for our pupils and that we are a family of schools who need to ensure that all pupils achieve their full potential.

As was the case at our last meeting, we revisited the impact of parents on outcomes and looked at how we can engage pupils and parents more. We discussed the practice of holiday learning and additional sessions after school etc. We did not finalise an approach, but are confident that schools will work with staff, children, and parents to find a way that works for them individually.

A report was shared from ‘Wiz’ Hobday, the Trust’s Maths Impact Network Champion. It was a detailed report on the work being done to secure improved maths outcomes this year and the impact this is having so far. It was noted that this was an excellent report, and that the committee believes it should be an example for other subjects too. The focus on Maths was initiated by Stuart Mansell in his analysis of outcomes last year and directed as part of some cooperation work across the three schools. It also was the focus of the first Quality Assurance meeting with the OWN Trust School Improvement Consultant to identify more deeply the reasons for the outcomes.

The report shared by the OWN Trust School Improvement Consultant dovetailed with the outcomes shared by Headteachers and the Maths lead. It clearly identified the actions that schools had chosen to take forward to improve standards in their schools, following detailed discussion and questions for understanding in Quality Assurance meetings. Each school has a unique situation, so individual solutions to shared issues are expected and valued.

The Any Other Business discussion at the end of the meeting centred around a temporary post for the Summer Term of 80% Director of Education and what will be the impact of that role. The planned impact agreed upon was a set of Quality Assurance documents and processes that inform a dashboard of information for trustees to see the performance of a school in one place and that identifies the level of support the school needs for the next academic year. This work is a priority as the Trust focuses attention on growth.

We are scheduled to meet again in July.