‘Real nemesis’ of below average performance by Norfolk’s 11-year-olds

The performance of Norfolk's children at Key Stage 2 is still below the national average. Pic: Domin

The performance of Norfolk's children at Key Stage 2 is still below the national average. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The below average performance of Norfolk children in school tests at age 11 is now a 'real nemesis', say education bosses.

Chris Snudden

Chris Snudden - Credit: Archant

The county's primary school pupils are still lagging behind in the national Key Stage 2 tests of reading, writing and arithmetic.

And education chiefs at Norfolk County Council say schools need help to better tailor the way they teach pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The percentage of children meeting expected standards in all three subjects of reading, writing and mathematics was 59pc in 2019.

That is up on 57pc in 2017, but below the 65pc national average. Only 7pc hit the higher standard, compared to 11pc nationally.

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In reading, 69pc of pupils reached expected standards this year, down on 71pc last year and below the 73pc national average.

The higher standard was met by 23pc of pupils, below the 27pc national average.

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In writing, 74pc of Norfolk pupils hit expected standards, down on 78pc nationally. The higher standard was hit by 16pc, compared to 20pc nationally.

In maths, 74pc in Norfolk achieved the expected target - up on 70pc the previous year, but still below the 79pc national average.

The national average hitting the higher standard was 27pc, but only 21pc of Norfolk children reached that mark.

At a meeting of Norfolk County Council's scrutiny committee, 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.

"When you look at performance across 300 plus primary schools we have got a real mix of school that perform really well, where all children exceed national averages.

"And then we have some where that is not the case.

"There are some real challenges in some of our schools about teaching and learning generally, particularly around new curriculum areas and new approaches to testing systems."

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.

She said: "For some of our schools, which have been on improvement journeys for many years, their focus has been getting to a threshold and that has meant they are not designing differentiated teaching and learning which meets the needs of all children."

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