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Call for investigation into why Norfolk schoolchildren score below average

PUBLISHED: 14:50 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:50 16 January 2020

A motion is to be tabled calling for an investigation into attainment by Norfolk schoolchildren. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A motion is to be tabled calling for an investigation into attainment by Norfolk schoolchildren. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Archant

A call is being made for an investigation into educational achievements of Norfolk children, especially boys, amid concerns the county still lags behind national averages.

Independent Norfolk county councillor Sandra Squire. Pic: Norfolk Independent Group.Independent Norfolk county councillor Sandra Squire. Pic: Norfolk Independent Group.

The percentage of children meeting expected standards in all three subjects of reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 2 at the end of primary school in 2019 was 59pc in 2019, the same as in 2018.

But it was below the 65pc average and only 7pc of the county's 11-year-olds hit the higher standard, compared to 11pc nationally.

In addition to concerns that youngsters are below the national average overall, councillors are particularly concerned at the performance of boys.

In reading, writing and mathematics, 54pc of boys hit expected standards, below the 60pc national average.

Girls fared better, with 64pc hitting expected standards, but still below the 70pc of girls nationally.

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And Sandra Squire, leader of the independent group at Norfolk County Council, will table a motion at full council on Monday, calling for an investigation into the issue.

The motion is backed by Liberal Democrat group leader Ed Maxfield and calls for the council to work with schools to launch pilot schemes to improve the attainment of boys.

She said: "Nationally there is an issue with boys not achieving as well as girls, however the gap in Norfolk is widening year on year.

"Bearing in mind that girls in Norfolk are not achieving as well as the national average anyway, it means that our boys results at the end of primary school are roughly 17pc behind girls elsewhere in the country.

"It isn't acceptable for us to consistently be one of the lowest achieving local authority areas for Key Stage 2 results."

At a meeting in November, education chiefs at Norfolk County Council said schools need help to better tailor the way they teach pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Chris Snudden, assistant director for education at County Hall, said: "The issue we have got in Norfolk with Key Stage 2 is a real nemesis for us, as a school system."

She said there were issues with the way more vulnerable children were being taught in some schools and the council has been putting in extra resources to help.

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