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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Moore  0207 527 3308

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Zaleera Wallace and Mary Clement.



Declaration of Substitute Members




Declarations of Interest

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.


If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.


*(a) Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 


This applies to all members present at the meeting.




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 83 KB


Cllr Graham asked for it to be recorded that he submitted apologies to the 26th November meeting.




That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 26th November 2019 be agreed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them, subject to the above amendment.


Chair's Report


The Chair advised that draft recommendations for the review of Equalities in Educational Outcomes were being developed and would be submitted to the next meeting.


Items for Call In (if any)




Public Questions

For members of the public to ask questions relating to any subject on the meeting agenda under Procedure Rule 70.5. Alternatively, the Chair may opt to accept questions from the public during the discussion on each agenda item.





Equalities in Educational Outcomes - Witness Evidence and Concluding Discussion pdf icon PDF 252 KB

a)    Data Update

b)    Evidence from Dr Antonina Tereshchenko, UCL Institute of Education

c)    Further evidence relevant to the review

d)    Concluding Discussion

Additional documents:


a)    Data Update


Jeff Cole, Head of School Improvement (Secondary), introduced the data update.


The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         The number of Black Caribbean pupils had decreased since 2013, whereas the number of White UK FSM pupils varied from year to year.

·         Data indicated that, on average, pupils from Black Caribbean and White UK FSM groups did not make the same level of progress as their peers.

·         Levels of attainment for English and Maths were below average for pupils from Black Caribbean and White UK FSM groups.

·         A member asked if one or two schools had particular issues with attainment and progress that would impact on the overall figures. In response, it was commented that Islington’s schools did have differing levels of attainment, however pupils at lower-attaining schools tended to attain lower grades overall. Attainment issues at those schools were not limited to specific groups.

·         Underachievement in Maths was an issue that disproportionately affected White UK FSM and Black Caribbean pupils. The Committee emphasised the need for employment and training pathways for lower attaining pupils. Many apprenticeships required a grade 4 or higher in GCSE Maths and English; it was important that those who did not achieve these grades had routes into quality employment. 

·         The Committee noted the difficulty of recruiting and retaining highly skilled maths teachers. Mathematics graduates tended to be attracted to other professions.


b)    Evidence from Dr Antonina Tereshchenko, UCL Institute of Education


Dr Tereshchenko presented to the Committee on the impact of setting and attainment grouping in schools.


·         Dr Tereshchenko considered that attainment grouping in schools entrenched social inequalities.

·         Dr Tereshchenko summarised the different methods of ability grouping used across primary and secondary schools. These resulted in differing levels of segregation between higher and lower attaining pupils.

·         Not all schools used setting for all subjects, however all secondary schools in England used setting for mathematics. Half of all primary schools had introduced setting for Year 5 and 6 pupils.

·         The socio-economic background of pupils was closely linked to levels of attainment and BAME pupils were over-represented in lower sets. 

·         Research had found that pupils were misallocated to sets, with working-class and BAME pupils more likely to be allocated to lower sets, and White students more likely to be allocated to top sets, regardless of their academic ability.

·         Lower sets were more likely to be placed with less qualified teachers. This could result in a lower quality education.

·         Schools had lower expectations for pupils in lower sets. Pupils were not challenged to attain higher grades and may be entered for foundation tier exams where it is not possible to attain the highest grades.

·         Pupils in the lowest sets reported lower levels of self-confidence than their peers in higher sets. It was suggested that placement in a lower set could be a self-fulfilling prophecy, rather than an accurate reflection of academic ability.

·         The setting practices of schools often lacked flexibility; pupils were not able to move between sets.

·         It was explained that classroom sizes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 151.


Quarterly Review of Children's Services Performance (Q2 2019/20) pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Additional documents:


Laura Eden, Director of Youth and Communities, introduced the quarterly performance report.


The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         The Committee queried why some indicators that had minimal change were rated “yellow” whereas others showing a slight improvement were rated “green”. Officers advised that this would be reviewed for the next report.

·         The Committee noted that the number of young people missing from care had increased. Officers advised that this was being monitored closely.

·         The Committee expressed concern that re-referrals to Children’s Social Care had slightly increased. Officers noted that this was particularly problematic when there was only a short time between re-referrals, as it indicated that previous interventions had not been effective.

·         The Committee welcomed that some progress had been made to improve the placement stability of young people in care.

·         The Committee requested that teenage pregnancy figures be included in future quarterly reports.





That performance in Quarter 2 of 2019/20 be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 35 KB