“Education plays a key role in determining how you spend your adult life - a higher level of education means higher earnings, better health, and a longer life. By the same token, the long-term social and financial costs of educational failure are high. Those without the skills to participate socially and economically generate higher costs for health, income support, child welfare and social security systems.” [i]
Wansdyke School recognises the importance of education in creating life opportunities and recognises that the influence of school on a child’s life is made more significant if they currently have, or have had in the past, a disadvantaged home life.
This particular document concentrates on the most recent equalities-related attainment data and highlights those groups that are vulnerable to underachievement in Wiltshire schools. Wansdyke School is using this data to support its work to maximise the attainment of every pupil, and in particular, pupils from groups who may be vulnerable to educational underachievement.
This document also details new national equality priorities and provides details about how Wansdyke School is responding to these.
ATTAINMENT: NATIONAL AND WILTSHIRE DATA
For most of the groups attainment is broadly in line with national results. In this document results are being highlighted where there is a county attainment gap compared with national results or where there is national and local concern about poor attainment for particular groups.[ii]
Lower Achieving Ethnic Groups
Nationally, the aggregated Black ethnic category remains the broad group with the lowest attainment both at Key Stage 2 and at Key Stage 4 (GCSE).ii iii This aggregated group includes the ethnic categories of Black African, Black Caribbean and Any Other Black Background.
Both nationally and in Wiltshire, Black Caribbean pupils continue to be one of the lower performing groups.ii iii Nationally 43 per cent of Black Caribbean pupils achieved the expected standard, while in Wiltshire, 36 per cent of Black Caribbean pupils achieved the same standard.ii iii The attainment gap between Wiltshire Black Caribbean pupils and National/Wiltshire All Pupils is 14 percentage points.iii ,
A small black population in Wiltshire means that this school only infrequently has black pupils on its school role. However, this school is aware that across the county, the attainment of Black Caribbean pupils persistently falls behind the average achievement of their peers. This school understands the complex reasons for this and the steps we take to raise the attainment of these pupils will include: working closely with their parents/carers; ensuring expectations of their attainment remain high; understanding the impact of negative stereotyping (both in-school and out of school); helping the pupils to confidently navigate the stress that comes from being a visible minority in a mainly white school; closely monitoring pupil progress - as well as working with the pupil and their family to accelerate progress where appropriate.
In Wiltshire, White Eastern European pupils are a lower achieving group. 33 per cent achieved the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.iii These results are because a significant number of pupils are more recent migrants, and the majority have therefore not been in school in the UK from the Reception School Year. [Please refer to more detailed EAL section below].
Nationally and in Wiltshire the lowest performing ethnic group are Gypsy, Roma, Traveller pupils. In Wiltshire, Gypsy, Roma, Traveller pupils significantly underperformed compared with the national statistics. Nationally only 13 per cent of pupils achieved the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.ii iii
The barriers that prevent Gypsy, Roma, Traveller pupils participating and achieving at school are varied and complex, but this school is committed to working with individual pupils and their families to ensure every child receives maximum benefit from their time at school. Wansdyke School is aware of being able to access support and information from the Wiltshire Traveller Education Service, which provides specialist advice so that this school can make the adjustments necessary to support individual pupils and families from this community.
In the past Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities were reluctant to allow their children to access mainstream primary education. This situation has been transformed in the last 10 to 15 years, and now the overwhelming majority of Gypsy, Roma, Traveller families in Wiltshire opt to send their children to primary school. This is a significant achievement. Wansdyke School works with our children, their families and local secondary schools to ease the transition process to ensure all our Gypsy, Roma, Traveller pupils continue to secondary school.
Higher Achieving Ethnic Groups
Nationally and in Wiltshire, Chinese pupils are the highest achieving group in 2016.ii iii Nationally 71 per cent achieved the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Mathematics, while in Wiltshire, 75 per cent of pupils achieved the same.ii iii
Ethnicity and Eligibility for Free School Meals (FSM)
There were 423 Wiltshire pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) in year 6 in May 2016.iii In Wiltshire, the largest group of pupils eligible for free school meals are White British pupils (379).iii In 2016, overall, 32.9 per cent of Wiltshire Disadvantaged pupils (FSM/Ever 6 & LAC) achieved the expected standard at KS2, compared to 38.5 per cent for England.ii iii The small number of pupils eligible for FSM in the other ethnic categories means the data is not statistically reliable.iii
For more detailed information about what our school is doing to raise the attainment of these pupils, please refer to our Pupil Premium Information which is also published on this website.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
“The attainment of children with a first language other than English (EAL) in Wiltshire continues to compare unfavourably both to figures for similar children elsewhere and to children whose first language is English (FLE). Furthermore, the gap between FLE and EAL attainment in Wiltshire is unusually large. iii
In 2016, 46% of Wiltshire’s EAL learners achieved the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Maths. The equivalent figure for FLE learners was 54%.iii
Nationally, 52% of EAL learners achieved the expected standard, and the figure for the South-West region was 47%.ii iii
The gap between FLE learners and EAL learners in Wiltshire was eight percentage points.ii iii This compares to a gap of six percentage points in the South-West, four percentage points overall for statistical neighbours, and two percentage points in national data.iii
The relatively poor attainment of Wiltshire’s EAL learners in overall KS2 data is very largely a product of poor attainment in Reading.iii This group has been doing badly in this area for several years, and evidence seems to suggest that the problem is deepening. In contrast, attainment in Writing is comparable to similar groups elsewhere, and attainment in Maths is good.
Wiltshire primary schools are working hard to address this issue in partnership with the local authority’s Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) and its School Effectiveness team. These two teams have provided joint training to school Literacy leaders in this area in recent years, and the EMAS team have produced resources for teachers designed to highlight the issue and provide ideas and inspiration for teaching Reading comprehension to EAL learners in the classroom. Both teams provide advisory support to schools, and EMAS also provide bilingual staff who can help facilitate access for children in the early stages of learning English.
It is worth noting that the patterns reflected above in Wiltshire’s EAL attainment at KS2 are not reflected in KS4 data, where performance in Wiltshire tends to be strong.”
At Wansdyke, early intervention has ensured we do not follow the Wiltshire trend.
Gender (Protected Characteristic Sex)
The attainment gap between girls and boys is 8 percentage points.ii Girls outperform boys on all the primary subjects except for Mathematics.ii
The school ensures that all teachers have high expectations of all pupils, and individual pupils’ progress and attainment is tracked, with a special focus on pupils who may be vulnerable to underachievement
- All teachers are aware that different factors can combine to exacerbate educational disadvantage, e.g. gender, being summer born, being eligible for free school meals, having special educational needs, being a young carer, etc.
- The school works closely with parents/carers to address any underachievement at an early stage, and is able to implement a wide variety of interventions.
Disability/SEN (Special Educational Needs)
Every school is required to identify and address the SEN needs of the pupils that they support. Information about the support provided by Wansdyke School for pupils with special education needs and for disabled pupils is detailed in the SEN section of the school website.
Disabled Pupils and SEN Pupils – Attainment Data
14 per cent of Wiltshire pupils who receive SEN support (the old SEN categories of School Action and School Action Plus combined) achieved the expected standard in Reading, Writing & Mathematics. For Wiltshire pupils with a statement of SEN or an EHC Plan; 7 per cent of pupils achieved the expected standard in Reading, Writing & Mathematics.[iii]
There is an increasing understanding of the negative impact of social, emotional, and mental health difficulties (SEMH) on the educational attainment of pupils. The incorporation of mental health into the Equality Act 2010 has helped to highlight this important issue.
Religion and Belief
Data is not collected for monitoring purposes on Religion and Belief, so there is no information available to compare the attainment of pupils who have/or do not have a religion or a belief.
Wansdyke School recognises how important faith and belief can be as part of a young person’s developing identity, whether this relates to a specific faith or belief, or whether this relates to wider belief systems, morals and ethics.
Wansdyke School is committed to supporting all our young people as they develop a personal relationship with their own values and beliefs, and to supporting, in the context of the Human Rights agenda, the role this plays in the moral and ethical choices they make in life.
This school takes incidents of prejudice-related bullying seriously and is committed to working closely with parents/carers to create a school environment which is nurturing, friendly and supportive for all our children. Our school has established a procedure for recording all incidents of prejudice-based bullying, and this includes bullying relating to religion and belief.
Wiltshire LA Anti-bullying Guidance specifically states that Religious Bullying can be identified as ‘a negative or unfriendly focusing on religious difference or how somebody expresses their faith’. This school is vigilant in maintaining an awareness of, and appropriate responses to, this possibility. Wansdyke School is aware that negative faith-based media attention can have an impact on all children, and recognises the importance of ensuring that pupils are provided with accurate and appropriate information.
Wansdyke School ensures all pupils gain knowledge of and respect for the different faiths in Britain as part of our role to prepare pupils for modern life in a diverse Britain. As part of a whole school activity, pupils celebrate different religious festivals and learn from religious representatives from various communities.
Wansdyke School recognises that discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief is a global concern, and our school actively promotes tolerance and respect. This school commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day as a key part of its commitment to informing pupils about the consequences of intolerance.
Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
Gender Identity is a relatively new area for schools but this Protected Characteristic identifies a small section of society as vulnerable to discrimination and inequality. Gender Identity was included in equality legislation for the first time in 2010, and many schools, parents, as well as wider society, are learning about the issues for the first time.
Schools in Wiltshire access expert advice and support from the LA; the charity Mermaids; as well as from other schools. Wansdyke School recognises that Gender Identity is a complex area and that children, young people and their families are navigating an equality area where best practice is not fixed, and where the central advice is to be ‘led by the child’.
This school is committed to ensuring that all our children feel safe while at school and that each child is given the chance to develop their unique identity with support from teaching and support staff, and their peers.
Pupils are taught that families come in many different forms and include single-parent; grandparent-led; same-sex parents; step-families; foster families; families who have adopted children; etc.
Our pupils understand that although families can be very different, what matters is that everyone in a family loves and cares for each other.
This school recognises that negative views within wider society about LGBT+1 people can have a detrimental effect on pupil wellbeing. Data from Childline and anecdotal information from CAMHS (serving Wiltshire children) show that increasing numbers of children in primary schools are raising issues relating to gender identity and sexual orientation. Gender Identity and sexual orientation are not mental health concerns but many of the referrals received by CAMHS for young people with issues related to their gender identity or sexual orientation are linked to bullying, isolation and internalised negative views about LGBT+1 people, that in turn impacts on their emotional and mental health. This school recognises that pupils with these issues are better signposted to school-based counsellors or school support groups and national websites such as Young Minds. CAMHS is encouraging of primary schools who can provide such support to their pupils, as dealing effectively with these issues at a younger age appears to reduce the more serious mental health issues presented by some LGBT+1 secondary school pupils.
This school is aware of the organisation Gendered Intelligence and will involve this organisation where the school feels individual pupils and the school would benefit from their support. This organisation provides advice and guidance to schools and families where a pupil has a parent who is transgender.
Schools are required to update their published Equality Information each year, and in addition, must have at least one Equality Objective that the school can focus and work on for a period of up to four years.
The current focus for Wansdyke is to ensure that our pupils understand and appreciate the rich diversity of Britain and the important values that help people with differing perspectives and outlooks to live together harmoniously.
1 acronym for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
[i] “Ten Steps to Equity in Education” (PDF) Oecd.org.
[ii] SFR 62/2016, 12 January 2017