Action plan to be drawn up after wide-ranging study into quality of education in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire County Council is set to act on a series of recommendations from a far-reaching deep-dive into the quality of education in the county, building on existing strengths to improve outcomes for all children.

The council’s cabinet has today (19 September) endorsed the recommendations of an independent Education Commission, which was set up by the county council in late 2022 to look at how the council, alongside all state-funded schools, education settings and partners, can improve outcomes and equality for all children in Oxfordshire.

The commission found that young people in Oxfordshire tend to achieve good outcomes compared to the national average but has made a total of 17 proposals to help improve things further – including tackling the inequalities faced by some children and young people.

The county council and its partners are now set to develop an action plan with clear timescales, impact measures and an investment plan to deliver on the proposals made.

Gail Tolley, Chair of the Oxfordshire Education Commission, said: “It has been a privilege for me to have the opportunity to lead the commission.

“In our report, we have made some strong recommendations for Oxfordshire to improve educational outcomes for children from certain demographic groups.

“I am pleased with the response to the commission’s recommendations, which the council have now endorsed, and I look forward to seeing the impact they will have on the children and young people of Oxfordshire.”

Councillor Liz Brighouse, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Youth Services, said: “We welcome the recommendations of the Oxfordshire Education Commission. Ninety-two per cent of Oxfordshire pupils attend schools that are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Nationally the figure is eight-seven per cent.

“However, we know that there is still a gap in educational attainment for our most disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs and disabilities. That’s why we’re committed to acting upon these recommendations to tackle inequalities, and create a fairer education system, which ensures everyone can achieve a good outcome.”

As part of its work, the commission spoke to people across the education system in Oxfordshire, including young people and their families, educators, businesses and wider stakeholders, to understand what is working well and what needs to change to create a world class education system.

The full report and recommendations of the commission are available to read by visiting Oxfordshire County Council’s website.

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