Investment in schools puts South Glos Council top of the class

Councillor Erica Williams. Creating the best start in life.

Ninety-two per cent of pupils in South Gloucestershire attend schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, the latest data shows.

There has been a significant improvement in Ofsted results in recent years, with more than 35,000 pupils currently attending schools rated Good or Outstanding.

It follows more than £118m of investment by South Gloucestershire Council in schools since 2019, with boosting attainment levels being one of the Council’s top priorities.

Improvements have been made in both Primary and Secondary levels, as well as in the district’s Special Schools.

These results have been achieved through increasing funding for schools as well as a focus on working alongside schools, their staff and other partners, to promote collaboration and the sharing of best practice so that all children can benefit.

South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for schools, Cllr Erica Williams, said: “Wanting to give our children and young people the best possible start in life is a natural instinct, but it is important to back up those words with action, which is why we have invested money to deliver a better experience and outcomes.

“Increased funding has helped to deliver improved school facilities, benefitting pupils and staff alike as they can learn and teach in modern spaces, designed to bring out everyone’s best.

“We have helped to increase school places, with ambitious plans to do more in the future, so that wherever a family lives in the district, there is a school within reach.

“Our focus on supporting those with additional needs, for example with our cluster programme where schools work together to share best practice and jointly bring in specialist help to support children with SEND, has been successful and so we are now building on that pilot for another two years.

“Results for pupils in Key Stage, GCSE and A-Level and equivalent assessments are also showing sustained improvement.

“Ofsted ratings of Good and Outstanding are a wonderful recognition of the hard work put in by teachers, school leaders and the council staff who support them, as well as of course the work put in by children and their families.

“The most encouraging thing is to see the progress being made in all our schools, whatever their Ofsted rating, as they work daily to help children and young people in South Gloucestershire to thrive and achieve their potential.”

Council investment has helped to deliver improvements to school facilities including new, energy efficient and zero-carbon impact primary schools for Elm Park and Frenchay. And, new, modern classrooms and specialist teaching areas for Castle School in Thornbury and Marlwood School in Alveston, with a new sixth form building for Castle School as well, for example.

The council budget for the coming year (2023/24) allocated more than £267 million to schools, skills and early learning in South Gloucestershire.

The benefits of improved school performance are increasingly being shared by all pupils, including those with additional needs. Eighty-five per cent of school Ofsted inspection reports since September 2019 have made a point of praising good practice for SEND children.

The most common statements refer to: ‘teachers knowing children well understanding and addressing individual needs’; ‘schools having high expectations and ambitions for children with SEND’; ‘children with SEND accessing the full curriculum, taking a full part in the life of the school, and learning and achieving well’.

The council has produced a video which talks about its Council Plan Priority to create the best start in live for children and young people in South Gloucestershire, which is available at:

92 per cent of (21,357) primary and 88 per cent of (14,536) secondary pupils in South Gloucestershire attend a school rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, as of 31 December 2022.

92 per cent of (86) primary schools and 81 per cent of (13) secondary schools in South Glos are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, as of 31 December 2022.

South Gloucestershire has five Special Schools and one Pupil Referral Unit of which five are rated good or outstanding, meaning that 84 per cent (542) of their pupils are attending a good or outstanding school, as of 31 December 2022.

Data is taken from State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information