Tendring: Figures highlight crisis in school performance

School attainment under spotlight

School attainment under spotlight - Credit: PA

THE majority of schools in Tendring are failing to meet national targets in educational attainment, shocking figures have revealed.

A total of 24 primary schools have achieved below the national average for Key Stage 2 results, while four of the district’s secondary schools are not meeting national GCSE targets.

The figures have been included in a report outlining educational attainment and worklessness in Tendring and will be discussed by council bosses on Friday.

Tendring District Council (TDC), although not responsible for education and schools, has set out plans to improve results and raise aspirations for young people in the community.

The report states only 39% of pupils at the lowest performing primary school are gaining the required results in their Key Stage 2 exams compared to a national average of 79%.


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Seven primary schools in the district are also in special measures following inspections by Ofsted, with a further four expected to be announced.

The lowest performing secondary school also saw only 36% of GCSE students achieve five A*-C grades against a national average of 60%.

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Last night, TDC’s portfolio holder for education and skills, Stephen Mayzes, said there were far reaching social and economic circumstances impacting on poor performance, but he said it was down to the schools to raise their game.

He said: “This report is the first step. We want to have a frank and open conversation because there’s no point in saying we are doing well, we are not. These are the real cold hard facts.

“Too often parents are blamed but it is the schools’ responsibility.

“Home-life does play a part but success can only happen in the school.”

He added: “We need to target school governors, which are key to setting direction. Some governors have lost that direction which is impacting on how the curriculum is being delivered.”

But he also accused Essex County Council (ECC), which is responsible for schools’ performance, of “not being interested” in Tendring.

Mr Mayzes said: “Essex County Council, in my view, is not really interested, that’s why we are taking the lead here. We don’t want to blame them but if they are not going to do anything, then we are.”

A spokesman from ECC conceded more work had to be done to improve results but schools were in a better position now than in 2011.

He said: “We share concern about the current overall standards in Tendring, however we feel it is important to acknowledge the improvements that schools have made in the last year.

“These include a reduction in the number of primary schools below the Government’s floor target from nine schools in 2011 to five in 2012. We should also remember that 50% of the primary schools in the district are rated good or outstanding.

“We have also funded and supported the opening of a Skills Centre in the area and worked with the Academies Enterprise Trust on the opening of the Tendring Enterprise Studio School.

“However, despite improvements, we know that more is to be done and we are determined to ensure that every child In Essex will be able to attend a school that is judged at least good by Ofsted in the next two years. The LA met with head teachers and chairs of governors last week to discuss our concerns and presented a number of proposals including school to school support and support from potential academy sponsors.”

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