Agenda item

Presentation by Head of Education on Education Annual Performance Report (Autumn 2022), document attached.




(a) The Head of Education reported on the Education Annual Performance Data Report Autumn 2022 in the context of the whole Devon picture of school and education services, highlighting:-


-challenges for pupil outcomes in most areas compared with nationally and against statistical neighbours (excepting that grade 4+ GCSE was slightly higher than the national average);

-the gap in performance of disadvantaged children had widened.  This group was disproportionately affected by a poor start in life. The Early Years team had now extended support to the end of Reception year, including early pre-school support e.g. school readiness, children’s health, attendance, support for families, speech and language.  Early Years lack of funding and settings’ financial pressures including the minimum wage, particularly in rural Devon was of concern;

-absence rates were higher than nationally and statistical neighbours;

-Elective Home Education (EHE) continued to increase, with a lack of resources to effectively monitor EHE pupils excepting for safeguarding reasons.  Approximately 20% of families were choosing EHE for lifestyle reasons. A significant proportion of the remaining pupils being EHE were due to social, emotional and mental health concerns, risk of exclusion or special educational needs.

-Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions continued to increase,  with both “at risk” pupils and schools struggling.


Following discussions with a range of groups, a four part plan had been drawn up to ensure that every child thrived (not survived) in education every day:-

(i) attendance was everyone’s business with early intervention, support for parents and working with health and police colleagues;

(ii) developing strong relationships in settings with children and young people so that our children wanted to come to school, stay in school and feel a sense of belonging;

(iii) developing alternative routes through the curriculum, needed at a time when vocational study had reduced;

(iv) broadening SEND universal provision in the classroom to manage the higher level SEND needs in mainstream settings.  


Much of the plan would utilise the sharing of good practice, expertise and networking.


Members welcomed the comprehensive report data whilst recognising Devon’s disappointing performance and noted the monitoring being undertaken, to pick up any matters that may require further consideration at the earliest opportunity. 


Member’s discussion also included:-


-concern around an increase in some school behavioural approaches that impacted on relationships and hindered meeting SEN in mainstream and negatively impacted on exclusions. Further feedback from Headteachers would be welcomed;


-whilst Devon had a large education support service, team leaders were looking at where rational savings could be made as part of the County Council’s budget reductions required across the whole Council.  The Babcock transfer of staff back in-house had been positive.  Effective training both external and internal could be delivered despite budget reductions through using collaborative expertise within the LA and Devon’s educational settings;    


 -consideration of how Education Welfare (EW) Services could support schools and families prior to any breakdown in relationships.  As EW resources were stretched with no statutory funding around EHE, a traded service model was being investigated, together with networking, collaboration, sharing skills in Early Years, SEND, Social Emotional & Mental Health (SEMH), engaging with parents, also involving the Parent Carer Forum, DSLS and teaching schools.   


(b) The Head of Education (Delivery) and The Head of Education (Strategy) responded to a Member question regarding the structure of this shared role established in July 2021, alongside both individuals’ ongoing part time employment with multi academy trusts, together with measures in place to ensure no conflict of interest.




That the Annual Report be circulated to all schools and governing bodies, subject to revisions to the emphasis and interpretation of Special School performance data.




Head of Education (Rachel Shaw)


Supporting documents: