Rotherham’s GCSE pass rate is ‘above national average’
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An education review of the last academic year is set to be presented to Rotherham Council’s improving lives select commission meeting tomorrow (December 21).
The report states that the Covid pandemic has ‘directly impacted’ the attendance rate in schools across the borough, which has led to ‘concerns around disproportionate impact on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups against periods of school closure’.
More youngsters are also being electively home schooled – 201 children were being home-schooled at the start of the 2020/21 academic year, which increased to 303 at the end of the year.
The report states that the highest numbers of children being home schooled are of secondary school age, and reasons given for parents removing their child from school included Covid related anxieties, bullying, and ‘personal reasons’ such as behaviour and attendance.
A survey of 11,000 school pupils in Rotherham found that there was an increase in the number of students feeling more ‘anxious, stressed, unhappy, worried and angry’ during the pandemic.
Eight per cent of those asked reported that they were ‘too embarrassed’ to ask for help or support, and nine per cent said they did not feel there was any support that was suitable for them to access.
The report oulines a number of ways the council will enable the recovery of education in the new year, such as increasing the number of schools judged by Ofsted as being good or better, ensuring that pupils and students who are self-isolating have the opportunity to keep up, and placing an emphasis on the wellbeing of school staff ‘as they face the daily uncertainty of staffing levels in schools’.