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Agenda item



To receive a statement from the Leader of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.


The Leader wanted to share the early reports that pupils from across the Borough’s sixteen secondary schools had achieved exceptional GCSE results.  This was excellent news and of particular note was the achievements of some of Rotherham’s students especially with Billie Moss (Aston Comp) who achieved ten Grade 9 (old A*) (one of the highest achievers across the country), Stephen Cheshire (Oakwood Comp) achieved seven Grade 9 (old A) and also sat his A Level Maths two years early gaining A*, Goda Zabitaite (Swinton Academy) achieved five Grade 9, two Grade 8 and one Grade 6 GCSE passes and Alijah Mustafa (Clifton Community School) achieved four Grade 9 and five Grade 8 GCSE passes.


Success had also been achieved by students across Rotherham who received their A-Level results seeing a 99% pass rate for the borough.  Wath and Swinton scored the highest pass rates in the borough, with 100% of pupils passing their exams.  Wath also had 86.5% of pupils achieving an A* – Grade C, and an impressive 36% of pupils graded A*– A.


It was impressive that the Looked After Children’s results had also improved across all stages on last year.


In terms of Operation Stovewood there had been a further conviction of six men last week bringing the total number of convictions for historic CSE crimes in Rotherham to nearly forty.  In partnership with the NCA the Council would continue to seek justice for all victims and survivors of CSE in Rotherham.


With regards to the HS2, the Prime Minister had requested a review of HS2 which would be carried out by Douglas Oakervee a retired engineer who previously chaired HS2 Ltd. and worked with the Prime Minister when he was London Mayor.   The Leader along with Ros Jones, The Mayor of Doncaster, met with Doug Oakervee last night and points were made at a constructive meeting.  Assurances were given that the voices of residents in Rotherham and Doncaster have been heard as part of that review.


Finally this week sees the return of the annual Rotherham Show which was set to be bigger and better than previous years marking the Show’s 40th Anniversary and still the biggest free show in the North. 


In the period where Members could ask questions of the Leader’s statement, Councillor Carter echoed the comments about the Key Stage 4 and 5 results throughout the borough, but referred to the recent convictions arising from Operation Stovewood. It was Councillor Carter’s understanding that in his judgement the Judge spoke harshly about the leadership of this Council and asked whereabouts on the spectrum would the Leader say that this Council was.


The Leader confirmed the Judge did comment harshly about the failures in the past in Rotherham which were severe and systematic over a long period of time.  Rotherham would continue to live with the consequences of those actions.  It was entirely understandable that those criticisms were made, but the Council was now a long way away from that situation today and would not be complacent about the threats to children and young people not just from CSE but in other exploitation.  The Council knew it had to continue to provide the best services it could for people who were let down in the past and work was ongoing to deliver this into the future.  In looking at the work to date, as reported on by Commissioners and independent observers, the Council demonstrated its progress and this was confirmed by the latest Ofsted report for Children's Services and would continue to progress in the future.