Council “wholeheartedly agreed” with government concerns about Norfolk primary school performance

Education minister Nick Gibb. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Education minister Nick Gibb. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

Norfolk County Council 'wholeheartedly agreed' with ministers that the performance of primary schools in 2015 was not good enough, letters released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed.

It was in the bottom 10 areas for pupils meeting the expected standard at the end of primary school.

In a letter dated September 30, education minister Nick Gibb said he was 'disappointed' only 75pc of Norfolk pupils achieved level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths, compared to an England average of 80pc. Both figures were later revised upwards by 1 percentage point.

He said: 'I am sure these results concern you as much as they do me, and you will be considering how to ensure more pupils achieve expected standards in the future.'

In the first of two replies, the council said it 'wholeheartedly agreed' standards were not high enough.

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It said the proportion of pupils reaching the standard in 2015 was the same as the England average two years earlier, but improvements were not fast enough.

It outlined its risk assessment system for schools, and added: 'Any school - regardless of its current Ofsted rating - that is not enabling children to do their best is identified as a school causing concern and subject to intervention of varying degrees.'

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It also pointed out the proportion of primary schools judged at least 'good' by Ofsted had risen by 21 percentage points since it launched its new strategy.

In its second letter, the council said: 'You will see the plan confirms the drive to improve outcomes for all Norfolk children continues relentlessly and the improvements seen in early years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 4 will shortly be replicated at Key Stage 2.'

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