New targets for Sheffield primary pupils

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Sheffield’s 11-year-olds have slipped back slightly in tables measuring their skills in the three Rs, taken shortly before they leave primary school.

The city came 123rd out of 150 English local authorities, down from 121st last year.

A total of 72 per cent of youngsters managed to make expected progress in all three key subject areas – reading, writing and maths.

Individual subject pass rates were, of course, higher – 82 per cent passed reading, 81 per cent writing and 82 per cent maths.

But the rankings cannot be compared too closely with last year’s as once again the Government has moved the academic goalposts.

Previous figures were based purely on test results in English and maths.

This year’s include a new measure of how good a child’s writing is, a judgement made solely by his or her teacher.

Ministers believe pupils who reach the expected level in all three subjects are ready for education at secondary school.

They have also conjured up a new minimum target which primary schools should be reaching – 60 per cent of youngsters should be passing all three subjects.

In Sheffield, 19 schools have failed to reach this new so-called ‘floor target’, up from just six schools last year.

Sheffield’s top three primaries are to be found in Millhouses and Totley – but not all high performers are in the better-off suburbs.

Reignhead in Beighton, St Thomas More in Grenoside and Oughtibridge Primary are all in the top 10, while Oughtibridge has one of the best points scores in the country.