Significant improvements see Sheffield rise up the school rankings

Report released into achievements at Sheffield schools
Report released into achievements at Sheffield schools
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Sheffield has risen rapidly up the ranking tables following significant improvement across city schools, according to a new report.

Attainment across all stages of primary and secondary education has seen the city make significant improvements, pushing it up the rankings when compared with other local authorities.

Only four primary schools are failing to meeting the attainment and progress measures, putting them below ‘floor’ standard – compared with seven in 2015.

And only two out of the city’s 26 secondary schools are failing to meet the new government’s new Progress 8 measure.

The improvements are outlined in a report which has gone before Sheffield Council’s Children, Young People and Family Support Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee.

Development of children at foundation stage continues to improve – 68.6 per cent of pupils are achieving ‘a good level of development’ compared with 64.9 per cent in 2015. The national average is 69.3 per cent.

Sheffield’s rank for the inequality gap, the performance of pupils with the lowest starting points, has improved from being one of the 10 worst authorities in 2013 – 141 out of 150 – to 78th in 2016.

The proportion of Key Stage 2 pupils working at or above the expected standard in reading, writing and maths has improved to 52 per cent – only one per cent behind the national average.

Sheffield has risen in the rankings from 116 to 92 out of 150 local authorities.

But the report did highlight that the number of pupils working at or above the expected standard at Key Stage 1 has fallen in Sheffield, as well as across the country, partly down to a new way of assessing pupils.

In Sheffield, 71 per cent of pupils are achieving the standard expected in reading, 65 per cent in writing and 71 per cent in maths – compared nationally to 74 per cent in reading, 66 per cent in writing and 73 per cent in maths.

Compared with last year the gaps have increased in reading and maths by one per cent and narrowed in writing by one per cent.

The report said: “The expected standard at Key Stage 1 and 2 is significantly higher compared to previous years and as a result a smaller percentage of pupils have reached the expected standard.

“Despite the higher standards, Sheffield’s relative performance has improved on many of the headline indicators as measured by ranks against other local authorities.”

The city has also risen in the rankings for pupils achievements when they leave secondary school.

The new Progress 8 measure, which has replaced raw GCSE results, has seen Sheffield rise from 110th in to 59th – putting it top of the core cities, consisting of Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Sheffield’s progress 8 measure stands at 0.01 which the report hailed as ‘good’ because only 62 local authorities received a progress 8 score above zero.

Coun Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield Council, said: “Over the last five years our children and young people have made great progress in our schools, achieving the highest results ever in 2016.

“Not only are results improving, but this year we have seen fewer under-performing schools as well as an increase in the number of schools judged as good and outstanding by Ofsted – now over 80 per cent compared to 73 per cent in 2015.

“It is really great to see Sheffield schools going from strength to strength. We are working in partnership with our schools and Learn Sheffield to support all schools to be great schools. With Learn Sheffield we are building partnerships with our universities, teaching schools and other local and national organisations so that we focus on our priorities, share the latest research and best practice, and improve outcomes for Sheffield children of all ages.”