Agenda item

Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.


Two public questions were received form Syed Maruf Ali.

1. Have all the recommendations been implemented of The Oldham Education and Skills Commission report?

Will the officers revisit the report and evaluate what progress has been made?  

Based on the data I have obtain the current admissions criteria for accessing good/outstanding attainment School favours the white British community and people from affluent area especially people with Cristian faith when the over subscription criteria is applied.  

Can the cabinet members please discuss this and outline how this can be addressed?

Oldham council has built Saddleworth School, Royton and Crompton School and Crompton School.  

Why can’t OMBC build a School for Hathershaw?  

This year Hathershaw School had one of the best results in Oldham.


2. Can the cabinet members analyse the data from Blue Coat School, Crompton House and Saddleworth School. What percentage of pupils are on Pupil Premium compared with Town Centre ward School?


Oldham council has giving grants and funding for Blue Coat School and Crompton House for them to expand and have new building. Has their PAN number increased since the expansion, so more pupils from Oldham can access their School? What percentage of pupils from out of Oldham attends Blue Coat and Crompton House? Was there an equality assessment carried out when funding was allocated?

Oldham council has built Saddleworth School and Royton and Crompton School and given grants for other School to expand. Hathershaw School has good OFSTED report and this year it has got the second best results when it comes to progressing their pupils. Why are cabinet members and officers reluctant to find grants and funding and build a brand new school for Hathershaw? If a brand new School is built they can increase PAN and serve the community.


Councillor Ali, Cabinet Member for Education and Early responded;

I would like to thank Mr Maruf for his questions and thank officers for the written responses that they have provided to him on some of the matters raised.

The recommendations of the Oldham Education & Skills Commission were implemented from 2016-2021 by the Oldham Education Partnership. From 2017-2022 the borough also received investment as an Opportunity Area. A review of this programme by DfE is due to evaluate the progress that has been made. Both OEP and OA were influential in the formation of the Oldham Learning partnership which now has school leaders working alongside Council officers to implement sector-led approaches to education improvement.

Although there has been progress in improving Oldham pupils’ achievement, we recognise that there is still a way to go until we achieve the ambition of closing the attainment gap to national averages. To this end, the council is supporting the sector to develop and deliver an Education Improvement Strategy to ensure that all pupils receive a great education.

Admissions criteria for state-funded schools do not have weighting that is determined by race or affluence; however faith schools are able to set criteria that are weighted towards faith such as Christianity. All secondary academies and schools in Oldham have trusts or governing bodies that set their own admissions criteria, except Saddleworth School which is set by Oldham Council.  Council criteria gives pupils from disadvantaged families priority where possible; for both pupils living in the geographical priority area (GPA) and those living outside the GPA, if the pupil qualifies for Pupil Premium, they are in a higher criterion than their non-pupil premium equivalent.

DfE holds the resource for school building and with Council support there was re- building at Saddleworth and Royton and Crompton Schools. Hathershaw is part of Pinnacle MAT, who nominated the school in the DfE rebuilding programme. Council officers visited Hathershaw to view the conditions and supported the nomination of the school.

We cannot find documentation about a condition that Blue Coat School must offer 10% of year 7 places to non-Christian faith, however officers have investigated and found that 18.4% of offers for Sept 22 were for non-Christian pupils.

GCSE pupil outcomes data will be validated in January 2023 and the information will be in the public domain soon thereafter.

In relation to the proportion of pupil premium for the schools requested, we can forward the detail to the requestor. However, in broad terms Crompton House and Blue Coat receive PPG for approximately 12 to 15 per cent of their school population. For town centre secondaries this varies between approximately 40 to 44 per cent.