Education standards are improving across Nottingham thanks to the dedicated work of teachers and schools, and with the support of the city’s Education Improvement Board (EIB).

Schools in Nottingham have been working hard, with the support of the board to drive up standards. This has led to real improvements in standards of reading in city primary schools. In primary mathematics, city schools are now in the top third of all schools nationally.

Other key achievements include:

  • The proportion of young children reaching a good level of development in 2017 was 66.1% – above the national average
  • The proportion of pupils attaining the reading, writing and mathematics benchmark in 2017 was 57% – an increase of 7%
  • Outcomes in mathematics were close to national figures in 2017 and 2016.

The EIB is made up of city leaders and education professionals, who have a long-term vision and plan for Nottingham to deliver a world-class education service which serves its young people and families. The board’s ten-year programme looks at improving education in the city. The goal of ‘Ambition 2025: the 10-year programme,’ is to ensure everyone supports, nurtures and develops the talents and aspirations of young people in Nottingham.

One of the purposes of the EIB is to help bring key partners in the city’s schools together, while promoting improvement activity in city schools and academies. The Board is focusing around the five strands of improving:

  • Provision for literacy
  • Provision for mathematics
  • Provision for science
  • The retention and recruitment of teachers and other school staff
  • Transition between the city’s primary and secondary schools.

Most of the improvement work promoted by the EIB involves working directly with teachers in their classrooms to improve the quality of learning taking place. This is contributing in part to the better school performance.

In 14 primary schools, English subject leaders were trained to raise standards in literacy, while the EIB implemented a mathematics specialist teacher’s programme, which consists of a core group of 19 outstanding primary mathematics practitioners capable of improving the skills of others. Intensive coaching was also provided to teachers at the three lowest performing primaries on mathematics in 2016.

The city’s headteachers, teachers and school staff are working hard and effectively to improve outcomes for Nottingham’s children. The EIB is using its evaluation of school performance data to target its improvement work at where it’s needed most.

The performance of city secondaries is improving more slowly than the primaries. Overall outcomes, including progress, remain well below average, with Nottingham ranked 145th out of 150 local authorities. In some academies, there are marked discrepancies between the low progress of disadvantaged students and the better progress of other students.

The EIB have now given the go-ahead to 17 projects that will mainly focus on improving secondary outcomes more rapidly.

The EIB has been promoting Nottingham as a great place to teach, representing the city at national teacher recruitment events during 2016/2017. They have also introduced the Fair Workload Charter, which grabbed the attention of national Government. The board was invited to give evidence about teacher workload and the charter to the Parliamentary Education Select Committee in October 2016. This evidence was cited in the select committee’s report on teacher supply and retention in February 2017 and two of the committee’s recommendations arose directly from the work of the EIB.

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Chair of the Education Improvement Board, said: “The EIB is here to bring together ideas about how we can provide the best possible education for every child and young person in Nottingham.

“Working collaboratively has brought some real improvements in the city. The hard work of the schools, supported by the board, have resulted in some better outcomes this year.

“However, we still have a long way to go and a tough journey ahead of us. I am confident we can work together to share our strengths to address the challenges currently facing education in Nottingham.”

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s important that head teachers, our local universities and other education partners work together and with the council to continue improving standards in Nottingham’s schools. We are ambitious for our children, they deserve nothing less than the very highest standards of teaching.

“We know the projects promoted by the EIB have helped schools but it is the hard work and determination of schools and their staff that have mostly brought about the welcome improvements. By working together and with the help of partners we can improve schools further. With the 17 new projects focusing on secondary improvement starting next year, I would hope we see some real change. Every child in Nottingham deserves to go to a good school and by everyone working together we can make this a reality.

“In Nottingham City we now have the highest proportion of Ofsted outstanding rated schools in the region, which is positive, but we need to see significant improvement in Key Stage 4, GCSE outcomes for our children.”

Members of the Education Improvement Board include head teachers from schools in the city, Nottingham College and both Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.