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Seven key points from the primary school league tables

16:40 10 December 2015

How did your school do in today

How did your school do in today's primary school league tables?

(c) Stockbyte

This morning’s league tables provide a wealth of information about how primary schools across our region are performing. Here are some of the key points.

1) Norfolk named and shamed by the government

The Department for Education has highlighted Norfolk as one of the bottom 10 local authorities - as it did when the county-by-county results were first released in August - and education minister Nick Gibb reiterated that he would meet with the council by the end of the year to discuss its results.

Norfolk’s headline figure actually improved by 2 percentage points this year, but remained towards the bottom of the national rankings because of similar improvements elsewhere.

James Joyce, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services Committee, welcomed the improvement, but acknowledged that “despite moving in the right direction, schools have not yet made the significant in-roads that were needed at Key Stage 2”.

He said: “For this reason, working closely with the primary heads’ association, we have made Key Stage 2 a key focus for this academic year. We have requested clear targets from all junior and primary schools and academies and are collecting data from them termly so that we can track progress. We have also carried out thorough analysis to see which schools are under performing in this area so that we can hold them to account more fully.”

2) 12 Norfolk schools are at the top of the table

In Norfolk, 12 schools saw 100% of their eligible Year 6 pupils reach the expected standard in reading, writing and maths this summer:

• Aslacton Primary School

• Buxton Primary School

• Colby Primary School

• Dickleburgh Voluntary Controlled Primary School

• Harpley CofE VC Primary School

• Ingoldisthorpe Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

• The James Bradfield Church of England Community Primary School

• Lyng Church of England Primary School

• Pulham Church of England Primary School

• Spooner Row Primary School, Wymondham

• Worstead Church of England Primary School

• Wreningham VC Primary School

All are smaller schools, with 22 or fewer Year 6 pupils whose results counted towards their league table score.

The government also provides a three year average, which helps to smooth out some of the yearly fluctuations. On this measure, 23 Norfolk primaries saw an average of at least 90pc of children gain Level 4 in reading, writing and maths, with three Norfolk schools recording 100pc:

• Dickleburgh Voluntary Controlled Primary School

• Wreningham VC Primary School

• Hindringham Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

3) Bottom of the table

In total, 12 Norfolk primary schools saw less than half their eligible pupils reach the expected standard in reading, writing and maths in 2015:

• Horning Community Primary School

• The Bishops Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

• Tuckswood Primary School and Nursery

• Gooderstone Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

• Litcham School

• Tivetshall Primary School

• Diamond Academy

• Bacton Primary School

• Walpole Cross Keys Primary School

• Rockland St Mary Primary School

• Cobholm Primary School

• Valley Primary School

However, most of these were smaller schools, with fewer than 20 pupils included in their results. For these schools, a small change in their cohort can make a big difference to the headline figure.

The government’s average of school results over the last three years showed that 12 Norfolk schools saw, on average, less than half their eligible pupils achieve the government’s target:

• St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School, North Pickenham

• Northrepps Primary School

• Sedgeford Primary School

• Tuckswood Primary School and Nursery

• Tivetshall Primary School

• Diamond Academy

• Mileham Primary School

• Cobholm Primary School

• Norwich Road Academy

• Sporle Voluntary Controlled Primary School

• Marshland St James VC Primary School and Nursery

• The Bishops Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

4) Schools that add the most value

Some people argue the headline figure is unfair to schools who have a lot of children with a low level of prior attainment – often penalising those in areas with high levels of deprivation.

The ‘value added’ measure aims to show how much difference schools have made to their pupils, by showing how much children have improved from their original starting points, compared to other children with a similar starting point.

Fairhaven Primary had the highest value added score in Norfolk, putting it in the top 300 schools in England on this measure.

Norfolk’s top 21 schools on this measure were:

• Fairhaven Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

• Buxton Primary School

• Corpusty Primary School

• White Woman Lane Junior School

• Alburgh with Denton Church of England Primary School

• Edith Cavell Academy and Nursery

• Mile Cross Primary School

• St Edmund’s Community Foundation School

• Cringleford CE VA Primary School

• Dickleburgh Voluntary Controlled Primary School

• Eastgate Academy

• Rackheath Primary School

• Fairstead Community Primary and Nursery School

• Alpington and Bergh Apton Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

• St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, Costessey

• Foulsham Primary School

• Worstead Church of England Primary School

• Acle St Edmund Voluntary Controlled Primary School

• Blofield Primary School

• Edmund de Moundeford VC Primary School, Feltwell

• St Martin at Shouldham Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

5) Girls outperform boys

Nationally, girls outperformed boys.

Across England, 83pc of girls achieved at least Level 4 in reading, writing and maths, compared to 77pc of boys – a 6 percentage point gap.

That pattern was repeated locally, with girls in Norfolk outperforming boys by 7 percentage points (80pc to 73p).

In Suffolk, the gap was 6 percentage points (80pc to 74pc), and in Cambridgeshire it was 7 percentage points (82pc to 75pc).

6) Fewer schools could fall into the new coasting category

The government is planning to introduce a new category of ‘coasting schools’. Those that meet the criteria could be turned into academies, or, if they are already academies, transferred to a new sponsor.

To fall into this category, primary schools have to meet the ‘coasting’ criteria for three consecutive years. The first year whose data will be considered is 2014, so we won’t know until next year which schools will finally be classed as ‘coasting’.

Earlier this year, an EDP analysis found that 100 Norfolk primary schools met the criteria in 2014.

Today’s figures show that more than half of these moved out of the coasting zone this summer, meaning they will not now be classed as coasting next year.

In total, 49 Norfolk primary schools are now at risk of being classed as ‘coasting’, if their results do not improve next year.

In Suffolk, 43 schools are in the same position, compared to 24 in Cambridgeshire.

The Norfolk figures also showed a 50pc turnover in the schools meeting the coasting criteria in 2014 and 2015. Although 51 schools dropped out of the potential ‘coasting’ zone this summer, a further 47 schools moved into it, and could end up being defined as coasting if their results are similar in 2016 and 2017.

7) Disadvantaged children still lagging behind

Over the past year, Ofsted has been paying increasing attention to how well schools serve children from the most disadvantaged background, with some schools receiving poor inspection judgements because of the large gap between the performance of disadvantages pupils and their peers.

Nationally, the number of children from disadvantaged background achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths was 15 percentage points below other children – 70pc, compared to 85pc.

The gap was higher in both Norfolk and Suffolk, standing at 18 percentage points in both counties.

The gap in Cambridgeshire was the equal fourth highest in England, standing at 23 percentage points.

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3 comments

  • What new adjectives could be applied to schools in the future?......dawdling, ambling, drifting, sinking, fading......A fading school is a school that was once a Super Nova School (top 5%) then dawlded for several years before sinking into being a Black Hole School (bottom 5%).

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

  • How many of these tests are externally marked? Also, I believe certain schools are more relaxed in their approach to these exams than others, in terms of assistance given. I'm not sure if I understand the levels thing correctly (not that we're supposed to be judging children by levels anymore are we?) but if these children are level 4 at end of Junior School, high schools will be delighted as it means if they are to achieve anything other than Requires Improvement, they should then be getting A's at GCSE. Is that correct? I think we all know that now most of the High Schools have been forced into becoming Academies, the government will turn its attention to Junior Schools. What better way than to start publicly stating that they are some of the worst performing schools in the country. Here we go again.

    Report this comment

    OldSchool

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

  • Look at how many academies are in the "successful" and "failing" lists, and you can see, yet again, the folly of this government.

    Report this comment

    Johnboy

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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