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Kingston students celebrate A Level success, bucking national trend

James Giles

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With the final A-level results now in, Kingston students are to be congratulated on continuing the borough’s record of exceeding national standards.

In line with the national average, Kingston achieved a 99 per cent pass rate, meaning nearly all the borough’s 992 sixth form students achieved at least one A*-E grade.

Crucially, pupils in Kingston achieving three or more A*-E grades, hit 88 per cent, nearly 10 per cent above the national average (79 per cent), and a rise of four per cent on the previous year.

Bucking the national trend, the proportion of Kingston’s sixth form students achieving A* and A rose from 40 per cent last year to 43 per cent this year – whilst the national average slipped slightly to 26 per cent. Kingston’s children’s and education services are run by Achieving for Children (AfC), a social enterprise jointly established in April 2014 by Kingston and Richmond councils.

Cllr Richard Hudson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for AfC at Kingston Council, said:

“Well done and congratulations to all of our students who collected their A-level results last week. It’s great to see more and more of you achieving the higher grades. This is an exciting time for you, and Kingston has much to offer in terms of the next phase of your learning and development.

“This is a fantastic result for Kingston, and I’d like to thank all those involved, not least our teaching staff and school governors, who helped our young people to achieve their potential.”

James Giles is the Editor of the Kingston Enquirer, covering local news and events in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

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Stop cuts to schools and special needs children

James Giles

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The Council last night (7th February) passed the ‘SEND Transformation Plan’, despite local residents making clear that they had not been properly consulted.

The plans, which include raiding a potential £5 million from the budgets of mainstream schools, were put out to consultation over the Christmas Holidays, which resulted in a response rate of less than 2% of those with special needs children.

SEND Family Voices, a group who until recently worked with the Council on special needs matters, have described the plans as ‘fantasy’, saying: “The risk of legal challenge is now high; the risk of Tribunal rates going through the roof is also now extremely high. The Plan is unachievable & the savings suggested are completely fabricated.”

If 100 residents sign the ‘call in’ below, the decision is sent to Scrutiny Panel for an investigation.

Please sign to ensure that our schools and special needs children get the education they deserve. We demand better for SEND children.

CALL IN: SEND TRANSFORMATION

We, the undersigned, call in all recommendations from the 'SEND Transformation Plan' from the Childrens and Adults Care and Education Committee for review at Scrutiny Panel for the following reasons:

- Councillors were misled by officers who presented the item, who claimed the consultation was sent to all SEND parents, school governors, publicised on the website and via social media, which is gross distortion of the facts.
- The consultation was not published on Kingston Council's consultation portal until 3rd January, leaving less than three weeks for the public to reply through this forum.
- The 'easy read' consultation was not published until after most schools had broken up.
- The consultation did not meet government guidelines on good consultation.
- Out of Borough schools which have Kingston SEND pupils attending were not consulted on the proposals
- SEND partners and parents were not consulted before the plan was published
- The consultation only had 96 responses. There are 4,000+ CYP with SEND in Kingston - at best, the response rate was 2% and in reality, lower, which suggests there was a major flaw with the way in which consultation was carried out, leaving the Council open to legal challenge.
- The committee wilfully held the authority's constitution in contempt by agreeing to the sending the Written Statement of Action to Ofsted a mere two working days after the committee, despite the constitution being incredibly clear that a decision cannot be fully implemented until expiration of a call-in period.
- The risk of legal challenge is now high; the risk of Tribunal rates going through the roof is also now extremely high.
- The Plan is unachievable & the savings suggested are completely fabricated.

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283 signatures

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