It’s celebrations as pass rates stay on up and up

Hambleton Primary Academy and Nursery School pupils celebrate their school's Ofsted results. From left, Roco Giannone, Bradley Ward, Lucy Silvester. George Grace, Imogen Tooth and Xavia Riley-Oakes.
Hambleton Primary Academy and Nursery School pupils celebrate their school's Ofsted results. From left, Roco Giannone, Bradley Ward, Lucy Silvester. George Grace, Imogen Tooth and Xavia Riley-Oakes.
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There were celebrations across the coast as the achievements of primary children are highlighted in the annual school league tables.

The number of pupils leaving primary school with a good grasp of maths and English is continuing to rise as this year’s figures show.

The tables measure the performance of Year 6 children in the Key Stage 2 Sats exams which were held in May

Government targets for primary schools decree at least 60 per cent of pupils must meet the required standard – Level 4 – in maths and English – or risk be branded as failing.

And the picture is improving, in Blackpool, 70 per cent of children made the expected progress and in Lancashire, of which Fylde and Wyre schools are part, 76 per cent made the grade.

Although Blackpool’s figure remains slightly below the national average of 74 per cent, there has been an increase in pass rates from 68 per cent last year.

In fact one Wyre school, Hambleton Academy, was named as 29th highest performing in a BBC list detailing schools where all Year 6 children achieved Level 4 in both maths and English.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE PRIMARY SCHOOL LEAGUE TABLES SUPPLEMENT ONLINE.

But schools not making the grade are faced with a set of controversial intervention measures.

At least 200 of the most poorly performing schools are expected to be pulled from local authority control this year and turned into academies under the leadership of a private sponsor.

Other schools may be merged with better performing sites nearby. In Blackpool however, education bosses are determined to see improvements.

Coun Ivan Taylor, cabinet member for Education, said: “In Blackpool schools there is a real commitment to get children to Level 4 or above, but also to ensure all children make the most progress they can.

“These results show the attainment of Blackpool pupils is continuing to improve and we are close to the national levels.”

League tables and the Sats system itself continues to be a controversial issue for schools.

Many headteachers believe pressures caused by targets narrow the curriculum as teachers resort to simply “teaching the test”.

League tables have also come under fire as being a “crude measurement” of a schools’ performance.

Andy Mellor, secretary of Blackpool’s National Association of Headteacher’s has strong views. He said:

“There is a popular myth league tables somehow show which the best schools are.

“Parents are repeatedly given this message by politicians, but my advice is to ignore the league tables.

“Judging the quality of a school is complex and you get a far better understanding by visiting it yourself and looking at the whole experience your child receives.”