Suffolk's pupils falling behind in SATS

PRIMARY school pupils in Suffolk are falling behind the country's other schoolchildren in the core subjects - with boys massively outperformed by girls in English, new figures have revealed.

Anthony Bond

PRIMARY school pupils in Suffolk are falling behind the country's other schoolchildren in the core subjects - with boys massively outperformed by girls in English, new figures have revealed.

The Government yesterdayreleased the Key Stage 2 test results for 2009 taken by 11-year-olds in English, maths and science.

The figures showed that in Suffolk, the percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 or above - the standard expected of them - in the three core subjects was below the national average.


You may also want to watch:


Just 69% of boys in the county achieved Level 4 or above in English compared to 82% of girls. The national average for boys was 75%.

Pupils in Essex scored higher with the percentage of those achieving Level 4 in English and maths being the same as the national average, at 80% and 79%. In science, 89% of pupils achieved the required standard which is 1% higher than the national average.

Most Read

Graham White, secretary for the Suffolk branch of the National Union of Teachers, last night called for the abolition of the national curriculum tests - known as Sats - and said the figures did not concern him.

“I am not overly worried but I am disappointed that some pupils will be labelled as not succeeding and that is very sad.

“Once again we are comparing Suffolk's schools against other schools and that is a false indicator. Let us concentrate on teaching pupils to the best of their ability and make sure that all pupils succeed at something in the future. That is the most important thing.”

Commenting on boys being outperformed by girls in English, Mr White added: “Yes, boys do less well in English because of their age but once they get to an older age there is then very little difference. Girls always mature sooner and always do slightly better in Sats.”

Nationally, the figures showed that the proportion of 11-year-olds reaching the level expected of them in English fell for the first time in the history of the national curriculum tests.

A fifth of primary school pupils are not reaching Level 4 in English. The figures also showed that just 61% of 11-year-olds reached Level 4 in reading, writing and maths - down 1% on last year.

Suffolk county councillor Graham Newman, portfolio holder for children, schools and young people's services, said: “Performance of boys remains stubbornly low in writing. As a result throughout the past year we have run a special support programme at sixteen schools across the county targeting six boys at each of the schools who were struggling in writing. Happily this programme has resulted in an 11% improvement in the writing results for the schools involved. We will therefore be extending this programme more widely, as well as identify other practices and techniques which mark out our outstanding schools, and share and promote them across the county.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “The provisional Key Stage 2 test results for Essex schools are encouraging. We would like to congratulate all our pupils and teachers for their hard work. Essex is home to a number of truly excellent schools and the results which are coming through prove that Essex is among the best when it comes to education.”

English Maths Science

Suffolk 76 73 85

Essex 80 79 89

England 80 79 88

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus