Children do well across all key stages of school in Hampshire, with a higher percentage achieving good results in tests and examinations, than in many other areas of the country.
According to a report , presented to the County Council’s Cabinet (5 February 2018), from pre-school and primary, through to GCSE level, attainment in Hampshire remains above the national average across the board. This is despite the introduction of more stringent testing and examination standards, changes in curriculum and performance measures, and the phasing in of changes to how GCSEs are graded.
Cabinet members praised Hampshire schools, with the Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar, commenting: “This reflects another year of excellent educational performance across the county. Schools and pupils alike, should be very proud. It is extremely reassuring to see that Hampshire children continue to achieve year on year. This is testament to the quality of teaching they are fortunate to have in the county’s schools.
“With over 90 per cent of Hampshire schools rated by Ofsted as being good or outstanding, it is clear to see why children and young people in the county do so well – better than their peers in many other parts of the country.
“It is fair to say that this strong performance is underpinned by the support that our family of schools receives from the County Council’s Early Years Team, specialist subject and school improvement advisors, as well as that from a range of other services. We are one of the few, if not the only, Authority that provides this breadth of expertise and range of services. I know, from my visits to schools, how much this is valued by head teachers and teachers in Hampshire.”
In the early years’ foundation stage, performance is measured by the proportion of children who have reached a Good Level of Development (GLD) by the end of Year R (reception year – age 5). In Hampshire, that proportion is 76% compared with 71% nationally.
In 2016, a new performance measure was introduced for children’s attainment by the end of Key Stage 2 (age 11) – Age Related Expectations (ARE) in reading, writing and mathematics combined. Results in 2017, for Hampshire, meant that the proportion of children meeting ARE was 65% (61% nationally).
New GCSE English and mathematics courses were examined for the first time in 2017. These courses have been written to be more challenging than those they replaced. The revised courses are graded on a 1 to 9 scale. Other subject GCSEs have also been revised and these will be examined on the new 0 to 9 scale for the first time in 2018.
The measures used to judge the performance of secondary schools have also changed, with the proportion of pupils obtaining five or more good GCSE passes including English and mathematics no longer being used. The proportion of Hampshire students gaining a good GCSE in both English and mathematics (what the Government calls The Basics measure) was over 4 percentage points above the national average of 63.5%.