01:46PM, Friday 01 April 2016
Failing schools could be publicly named and shamed under plans approved by the Royal Borough’s cabinet.
The move was announced after figures were presented at the meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall last night (Thursday) showing the extent to which disadvantaged pupils are being failed.
In the report put forward by Cllr Phillip Bicknell (Con, Park), cabinet member for education and deputy chairman of the cabinet, it was shown that eight schools had attainment gaps of more than 10 percentage points between ‘disadvantaged pupils and their peers’ at GCSE level.
According to the data, the biggest difference was at Furze Platt Senior School, in Furze Platt Road, Maidenhead, where the attainment gap was almost 40 percentage points.
However, just two miles away, Desborough College, in Shoppenhangers Road, was shown to have no attainment gap, with disadvantaged pupils, usually determined by whether or not they receive free school meals, performing ’17 percentage points higher than similar pupils nationally’.
Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Bicknell said: “The fact is that we’ve got 66 schools and a huge responsibility to about 20,000 children and if the schools are not going to do what’s right by them, then we need to act and we will go to the press and explain what’s going wrong.
“But we also need to be giving them the best support available.”
Recommendations approved by cabinet included measure to increase the sharing of expertise on offer to help drive-up standards and working practices and more independent careers advice to sixth form students.
It was added that any schools deemed not to be taking on board new resources to improve would be publicly named.
The meeting also voted in favour of plans for a Road and Streetworks Permit scheme that could see utility firms fined for failing to complete roadworks on schedule.
And plans to extend a programme offering discounts of up to 100 per cent on business rates to companies that take over premises that have been vacant for a year or more were given the green light.
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