Hundreds of schools below new targets

Dec 12, 2013 by

Hundreds of primary schools in England have failed to hit tougher literacy and numeracy targets brought in this year.

Targets were missed by 767 of more than 15,000 schools in which final-year pupils took national Sats tests.

That is more than the previous year, when the targets were less demanding – but comes against a backdrop of overall improving results.

About three-quarters of the pupils achieved the expected Level 4 or higher in reading, writing and maths.

TOP-PERFORMING PRIMARY SCHOOLS

  • St Oswald’s C of E, Cheshire
  • Litton C of E, Derbyshire
  • St Joseph’s RC, Lancashire
  • Skelton School, Cumbria
  • Lowbrook Academy, Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Cartmel C of E, Cumbria
  • Meare Village, Somerset
  • Combe C of E, Oxfordshire
  • Saxlingham Nethergate C of E, Norfolk
  • St Joseph’s, Southwark

Based on % of children getting “good” Level 4 results in reading, maths and writing, at schools with more than six pupils taking the tests

Best results 2013

And 63% reached a tougher measure brought in this year, which the government says shows children are ready for secondary school.

One in five children (21%) reached the even higher grade, Level 5.

The league table data was released by the Department for Education (DfE).

Individual schools are now deemed to be below target if fewer than 60% of their pupils do not achieve Level 4 or higher in reading, writing and maths and pupils are not making the expected progress in these three subjects between the ages of seven and 11.

Those falling below targets could be put under new leadership, turned into academies or closed down.

The government says the targets are “firm but fair” and the evidence is that schools “respond to the challenge of a higher bar”.

It says the data suggests schools are improving and that last year 834 primaries would have fallen below the new standards.

A spokesman for the DfE said: “This government brought in higher primary-school floor targets with one aim in mind – to drive up standards.

Primary school league tables

Compare schools in your area on Department for Education website

“Schools respond to this challenge. The floor standards we introduced were tougher and performance is improving. Heads, teachers and pupils deserve credit for meeting the challenge head on.”

Some results from 25 schools were “annulled” or not counted, the government says, because of “maladministration”.

This may include:

  • cheating
  • opening test papers early
  • incorrect storage of papers
  • giving children unsupervised rest breaks
  • teachers failing to cover wall displays

Many of the annulled results were in maths – but in 11 cases, results for reading were also not counted.

The data shows how the different parts of England compare.

London’s schools continue to perform well.

Excluding local authorities with few pupils and schools, the best performing are:

  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Trafford
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Sutton
  • Solihull

The worst performers were:

  • Poole
  • Bradford
  • Luton
  • Isle of Wight
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • Suffolk
  • Medway

In Poole, 33% of primaries are considered failing by the government’s benchmarks. In a further 17 local authorities at least one in 10 schools did not meet the key performance target.

Among the top performers are St Oswald’s Church of England school in rural Cheshire, Litton Church of England school in Derbyshire, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic school in Lancashire and Skelton School in Cumbria.

The data suggests children on free school meals are continuing to catch up with other pupils at primary school level, the government says.

Nationally, there is a long-standing “achievement gap” between pupils from low-income homes and others. This year, 60% of children receiving free school meals (FSM)achieved Level 4 in maths, reading and writing, compared with 79% of all other pupils.

In maths, 74% of pupils receiving FSM achieved the expected level (Level 4) or above in maths compared with 87% of all other pupils. In 2011, the gap was three percentage points.

via BBC News – League tables 2013: Hundreds of schools below new targets.

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