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Suffolk: Primary schools ranked third from bottom in league table

PUBLISHED: 14:42 13 December 2012

Archant

THE number of primary schools failing to give pupils a good grounding in the three Rs has halved in the space of a year, national figures suggest.

In total, 521 schools in England are below the Government’s floor target for primaries, according to an analysis of data used to create new primary school league tables. Last year, 1,310 schools were below the threshold.

But despite making progress in terms of both maths and English results at Key Stage Two, Suffolk has again dropped down the national league table - and is now ranked the third worst performing authority in the country.

The latest tables show how more than 15,000 primary schools performed in national curriculum tests - known as SATs - in English (reading and writing) and maths.

Under the Government’s current target, schools are considered failing if fewer than 60% of 11-year-olds reach the expected standard - Level 4 - in English and maths SATs tests, and fewer youngsters make two levels of progress in these subjects than the national average.

The national average for English progress this year is 92%, and for maths it is 90%.

Schools that fail to reach this threshold are at risk of being closed and turned into academies.

The rise in performance this year could be partly down to the Government’s decision to scrap the externally-marked writing part of the English SATs test.

Traditionally, marks for the test were lower than for the reading and maths papers.

This year, for the first time, schools were given the option to mark the writing paper themselves, or to send it to an external marker.

A DfE spokesman said that the aim of their floor target was to boost standards and “end years of chronic under-performance.”

“Today’s figures demonstrate that schools have responded to the challenge. The floor standards we introduced were tougher and have improved performance. Heads, teachers and pupils deserve credit for meeting the challenge head on,” he said.

“Schools with a long history of under-performance, and who are not stepping up to the mark, face being taken over by an academy sponsor.”

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