Fairfield Primary School in Penarth is to have an individual “School Progress Panel” to improve its performance after the Vale of Glamorgan Council received a rap-over-the-knuckles from the Wales education watchdog Estyn.
Estyn found that found that the Labour-run Vale Council “should have taken a more direct approach in challenging performance” at Fairfield Primary school.
A report entitled ‘National Categorisation-outcomes for Vale schools’ recommended that that so-called ‘progress panel meetings’ be conducted at Fairfield Primary in the wake of the criticism from Estyn.
The report said that although “many positive aspects” had been identified at Fairfield Primary and that performance at outcome 5+ was good in the Foundation Phase, the performance at outcome 6+ was not.
It said Fairfield was in “quarter 3 in all areas” and that performance is lower than what it calls “the family average”. Fairfield was also placed “in Quarter 3 for English“ and in “Quarter 4 for both mathematics and science . This means, for CSI , the school is also Quarter 4.”
The report states that for English at level4+ and the CSI, performance has been in Quarter 3 or 4 for the past 3 years. This is also the case for science at level 5+.
In standard of reading – the report says – at key stage 2 Fairfield’s results were below the family, the local authority and the all-Wales averages. It says “Although the gap is narrowing, the achievement of eFSM pupils [ i.e. pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals] is “inconsistent, with non eFSM pupils outperforming eFSM pupils in most areas across both key stages”.
The report also says that “The targets in the school development plan are not quantifiable and do not have clear success criteria that can be measured and evaluated effectively.”. It adds that “The school is successful in improving pupils’ outcomes in some areas but this is not consistent across the school as a whole.”
The Fairfield report also states that “Outcomes – in key stage 2 particularly – do not compare well with similar schools and there is no evidence of an improving trend in performance.” The document says there is “excellent teaching found in some classes” but it is “not consistent across the rest of the school.”