Reading bucks national trend with higher GCSE grades this year

More Reading pupils achieved grades 9-4 in English and Maths this year and the overall attainment is higher than in previous years.

Figures from schools in the borough show that 65% of GCSE pupils achieved grades 9-4 in English and Maths, which is an increase of 4% on last year’s figure of 61%. Grades 9-4 are equivalent to the old A*- C grades.

The number achieving the higher 9-5 grades, similar to A* – bottom B/high C, was 53% compared with 47% last year.

The collective score, called an Attainment 8*, for Reading schools was 51, which was up from 49 last year. Reading is significantly above the national average which was 46.5 last year and early indications show that is likely to be similar this year.

This is the first year of GCSE results since education services in Reading have been run by Brighter Futures for Children. The not-for-profit company took over the delivery of children’s services, including children’s social care, early help, education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) service on behalf of Reading Borough Council in December 2018.

Tony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said:

‘Well done to all pupils and their schools for these excellent results. We hope that you’ve got the grades you wanted to help you with your future choices but, if you didn’t, please don’t worry.

‘In addition to the support your school can offer, we have a service available to all young people in Reading. There are plenty of opportunities still available to you. Our advisory service can offer support and help on further training and apprenticeship opportunities.

‘Our advisors are based in Reading Central Library in Abbey Square on the third floor. You can contact them by email: ParticipationandEngagement@brighterfuturesforchildren.org  or call 01189 372 204.’

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education, said:

‘GCSE results day is often a nerve racking but exciting day for our students. It is the culmination of years of hard work from pupils, teachers, parents and governors who are all vital elements in our young people's success. I would like to thank every one of these groups for their hard work in achieving some excellent results.’

*To get the Attainment 8 score, schools add up the points for each student’s 8 subjects and divide by 10 to get their score. A school's Attainment 8 score is the average of all of its students' scores. Students don't have to take 8 subjects, but they score zero for any unfilled slots.


Record number of Reading pupils get grades A*- E this year

THE number of students achieving A-level grades A*-E has increased in Reading, according to provisional figures collated by Brighter Futures for Children.

Ninety eight per cent of students gained A*-E grades this year compared with 94 per cent last year, an increase of 4%.

There was a very slight dip in A*-B grades, with 58 per cent of students achieved A*-B across the borough, in-line with the national picture, compared with 62 per cent last year but this year beats 2017’s figure of 57 per cent.

A total of 606 students took A Levels in Reading this year, compared with 691 last year and 673 in 2017.

The number of young people achieving A*-C passes was 78 per cent compared with 77 per cent in 2018.

This is the first year that results have come out where education services are run by Brighter Futures for Children, the not-for-profit company which delivers children’s services, including children’s social care, early help, education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) service on behalf of Reading Borough Council.

Tony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said:

‘These results show just how good Reading schools are. They’re a culmination of individual students’ hard work but also a great deal of effort by the schools themselves, and organisations like ours, which offers support to schools, to help them thrive and prosper. It’s no wonder that requests for secondary school placements in Reading are increasing.

‘So we congratulate all those students who got the grades they wanted but, if you didn’t, don’t worry. There are plenty of opportunities still available to you. We have recently taken over an advisory service for young people, and we can offer support and help on further training and employment opportunities.

‘Our advisors are based in Reading Central Library in Abbey Square on the third floor. You can contact them by email: ParticipationandEngagement@brighterfuturesforchildren.org  or call 01189 372 204.’

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education, said:

“Today the hard work of students and teachers in schools across Reading has paid off and I would like to congratulate all of those who have achieved great A-level results.

“Behind all the statistics are stories of individuals who have dedicated a great deal of time and effort over a number of years to achieve their grades. For those students that didn't quite get the grades they were hoping for, I urge them to seek the available support and take time to find the correct next steps in their career path.

“I wish all young people who received their results today every success for the future whatever path they choose to take next.”

 


‘Outstanding’ rating for our children's home

Pinecroft, one of two children’s homes run in Reading by the newly-formed Brighter Futures for Children, has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted after an unannounced inspection visit recently.

The inspector awarded ‘Outstanding’ ratings to all three key areas - the overall experiences and progress of children, how well children and young people were helped and protected and the effectiveness of leaders.

This was the first Ofsted inspection since Brighter Futures for Children took over children’s services from Reading Borough Council in December 2018. The inspector visited the home on July 2-3 this year.

Pinecroft provides care for up to five children with learning, physical, disability or sensory impairments, or a combination of these.

The inspector found that the children’s home provides ‘highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. The actions of the children’s home contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people who need help, protection and care’.

He referred to staff as ‘smiley, passionate and enthusiastic’ and added ‘the well-established team works hard to maximise and enrich the children’s experiences. This creates an atmosphere which is full of warmth and love where staff are nurturing and supportive of the children.’

Staff were praised for their ‘excellent’ links with healthcare professionals and relationships with parents and for embracing children’s identity and cultural needs.

The inspector noted that In-depth risk assessments underpinned health plans and medication administration processes, which, in turn, provided clear, detailed guidance for staff, so that  specialised healthcare could be delivered ‘to the highest standard’.

Comments were made on the children’s colourful bedrooms, on the range of activities available, the promotion of equality and diversity and that children’s needs were effectively met.

Staff were praised for their diligent approach to ensure that children’s views, wishes and feelings were sought and on the innovative ways staff had devised to communicate with children. This included a dictionary linked to a child’s vocalisations. Once limited to one sound, she is now using up to 100 words.

There was particular praise for the registered manager, Helena Baptista, who was described by the inspector as ‘highly experienced…dynamic, ambitious and forward thinking’.

‘Her organised approach means that records are meticulous and the home is managed to the highest standard. She continually strives for excellence, drawing on different models of care to inform her vision for the service. The strength of her leadership inspires a culture where the staff are focused and committed. They work together to deliver an exceptional level of care.’

Tony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said this was an exceptional achievement by highly motivated and dedicated staff.

‘We are all extremely proud of the team at Pinecroft. Helena’s leadership style is inclusive, pro-active and highly effective in motivating her staff who, in turn, deliver an outstanding and vital service to children, young people and their families.

‘The whole team’s approach is both exceptional and inspiring.’

Cllr Liz Terry, Lead Councillor for Children’s Services, said: ‘I’d like to congratulate the entire team a Pinecroft for again achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted judgement.

‘The management team and staff have consistently impressed Ofsted inspectors with their dedication and excellent work with children who have a range of learning disabilities and complex medical needs.

‘It is heartening to know that children who attend Pinecroft enjoy such a positive experience in a warm and caring environment.’

Registered manager Helena Baptista said: ‘This report is a credit to the young people and staff, who have work so hard together to attain the best possible outcomes. To achieve an ‘Outstanding’ judgement in every single inspection area, with no recommendations or requirements, is absolutely incredible! I am really pleased that Ofsted was able to observe the work we do and confirm that we delivery care to the highest standard.

‘I am really proud of my team, who are an extremely skilled group of professionals that are passionate  about making  difference to the lives of the children we care for, a special mention is needed for my assistant unit manager Sherwin Springer who oversees the operation of the home on a day to day basis.’

The full report can be found on Ofsted’s website: https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50099115