Annual Education Report Celebrates County's Schools
24 Mar 2023
Northumberland's Education and Skills Annual Report celebrates the achievement and resilience of young people and schools despite the challenges of the pandemic and sets out the council’s priorities over the next two years.
In Northumberland, there are 149 schools attended by almost 40,000 pupils. 65% of schools are Local Authority maintained schools and the remainder are academies.
Despite the continued challenging circumstances, there has been much to celebrate, including:
- 92% of schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted
- Over 97% of Northumberland parents gain their first choice of primary school and 95.45% secondary school
- More of our young people are moving to universities of their first choice and to Russell Group Universities
- Being in care has a positive impact on education outcomes for care-experienced young people with more pupils back on track and working within their age-related curriculum and more care leavers are staying in further and higher education
- The council is continuing with a major investment programme funded from local authority resources in order to maintain the schools estate, grow school places and deliver projects to support school re-organisation.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services, said: “This a fantastic report and one the council can be proud of.
“It’s testament to the hard work and dedication of our school leaders, staff, pupils, parents and carers – supported by our school improvement team and our wider Children's Services team."
Audrey Kingham, Director of Children’s Services, said: “The Annual Report shares with you the significant levels of resilience that our children and young people as well as our workforce have shown throughout the year.
“Our schools, skills and college have adapted learning environments to be able to support many of our children and young people's needs as we live and work within the shadow and legacy of the pandemic years.
“Working with our schools and partners to support the ambition, transition and development of all of our children, young people and residents to their next stage of education, employment and life with all of the challenges that cross their paths is a privileged role that is embraced and celebrated by the whole workforce.”
In line with the rest of the country, whilst many children are enjoying their journey and progress very well, the extent of the work to close gaps is still a challenge, especially for disadvantaged pupils who continue to attain below their peers.
The report captures a snapshot of the work underway to address the challenges including:
- The council continues to invest in the School Improvement Team
- The Virtual School has seen its role extended to champion the education of both care-experienced young people and all children who have or have had a social worker.
- In Early Years, the Northumberland Early Years passport is making sure all children are school-ready
- Northumberland Skills is investing in both courses and facilities to widen career opportunities
- The SEND Capacity and Place Planning Strategy will promote Northumberland’s vision that learners with SEND have the best start in life and are supported, through highly effective and inclusive educational provision, to attend settings as close to home as possible.
Audrey added: “The impact of the pandemic on children and their families has proved to be significant.
“Adaptations have been necessary not just because many pupils have missed out on learning, but also because many have missed out socially, got out of the routine of coming to school or are struggling with their mental health, very simply, more of our young people are struggling in education.
“Whilst many children are enjoying their journey and progress very well, the extent of the work to close gaps is still a challenge, especially for disadvantaged pupils who continue to attain below their peers.
“We are extremely proud of our strong relationships with schools and learning providers across Northumberland and beyond, and together we will continue to support the development of each and every young person so that they can thrive and reach their full potential.”
You can read the full report here