Priority 1: Raise attainment and progress in Blackpool’s schools

Our aim

To raise attainment and progress in Blackpool’s schools.

Why is this a priority?

Whilst the majority of Blackpool’s primary schools are judged by Ofsted to be good (and one outstanding), only one of the seven secondary schools has been judged as good. This means that only 19% of secondary pupils (fewer than 1,200 pupils) attend a school which is rated good. In comparison, nationally 82% of pupils attend a school judged to be good or outstanding.

Blackpool’s primary schools achieve good attainment in key stage 1, and good progress is made at key stage 2. However, the proportion reaching the expected standard in 2016 was much lower than the national average. Provisional data for 2017 shows that the proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard at key stage 2 in Blackpool local authority is slightly higher than the national average.

In Blackpool secondary schools attainment (measured by Attainment 8) falls behind the national average significantly and the rate of progress made by pupils (measured by Progress 8) was the second lowest in England. Only 48% of pupils achieved C or above in both English and maths at GCSE compared with 63% nationally.

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What are we doing?

  • The North/North West Maths Hub and the Strategic School Improvement Fund project delivered a co-ordinated programme to improve teaching of maths in all Blackpool mainstream schools.
  • We have used the Strategic School Improvement Fund, the National Professional Qualification funding and other programmes to improve the leadership and governance in Blackpool schools. At least twenty schools in this academic year have been targeted.
  • In conjunction with St Mary’s Research School an evidence based practice has been embedded in Blackpool schools, which aligns with the OA plan and Blackpool School Improvement Board priorities.
  • A Blackpool Secondary Heads Group bringing Blackpool’s secondary school leaders together to achieve success has been created.
  • All successful Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF) providers have commenced activity in schools. All Blackpool schools rated requires improvement or lower will have taken part in at least one TLIF programme in this academic year.

Our targets

  • All Blackpool primary and secondary schools will have received interventions to enhance their teaching of English and maths.
  • Senior leaders in all Blackpool schools will have had access to effective continuing professional development.
  • The percentage of children achieving expected levels in reading, writing and maths at the end of primary school will put Blackpool in the top half of the country.
  • Progress 8 scores across Blackpool will be in the top half of those for the region, and two thirds of children will achieve a pass in both English and maths GCSE.