Suffolk’s primary school children show marked improvement in reading, writing and maths
18:38 30 October 2014
Education chiefs in Suffolk have praised teachers for raising standards after new figures revealed significant improvements in attainment for the county’s three to seven year olds.
Statistics released by the Department for Education have shown improvements in Suffolk’s Key Stage 1 (KS1) results across the board in reading, writing and maths.
The results mean Suffolk has now either met or exceeded the national average in all categories of KS1, which is taught in Years One and Two at primary school.
Early years attainment has also shown a marked rise, with 59% of the children now achieving a “good level of development” - up 10% from last year’s figure.
The improvements have elevated Suffolk’s local league table standing, according to the county council, five places in the early years league table to 85 out of 150.
Suffolk has previously come under fire for its poor league table ranking and results - particularly at Key Stage 2 and 4 - prompting education chiefs to launch the Raising the Bar initiative to address falling standards.
Lisa Chambers, cabinet member for education at the county council, said she wanted to continue to “drive up educational attainment” and follow the direction set with Raising the Bar.
“This boost in results and subsequent move up the education league tables for Suffolk is excellent news and a testament to the hard work and dedication of all those involved, early years and childcare providers, teachers, support staff, headteachers, governors, parents and, most importantly children,” she added.
Sonia Barker, Labour’s shadow spokeswoman for education, also welcomed the improvement, though she highlighted the need for it to be translated into the later key stages – where the county has traditionally lagged behind.
“Any improvements are good news,” she said. “But the concern is that as young people go through to the higher levels their attainment does not keep up.”
Sue Cook, director of children and young people’s services, said the “significant improvements” were a “great foundation” to drive deliver better attainment in KS2 and KS4 as well.
“We know from research that the achievement and progress children make in their early years will have a very significant effect on the progress that they make throughout their lives,” she said,
She added the council was “working tirelessly” with schools to ensure the KS1 improvements are carried through.
More than 100 school leaders launched a vote of no confidence in the county’s education authority earlier this month, highlighting its “demoralising” treatment.
Ms Barker called on the county to “build bridges” with the headteachers to help continue the improvements.
Responding to the calls, Ms Cook said: “I know that teacher and the council want the same thing for children and we each need to be able to challenge one another to achieve that.”