TWENTY Sheffield primaries are still failing to meet minimum government targets in English and maths tests taken by their 11-year-olds, this year’s performance tables show.
Ministers say that at least 60 per cent of pupils are expected to make the grade in both English and maths by the end of their primary education.
SHEFFIELD, BARNSLEY, ROTHERHAM AND NORTH DERBYSHIRE: To view a full list of primary school performance tables in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and North Derbyshire - CLICK HERE
The number of schools failing to reach the so-called ‘floor target’ is the same as last year - with pass rates falling as low as 48 per cent.
Education chiefs will be disappointed by the figure, in a year in which pass rates across the city improved by just one per cent, to 71 per cent, and the city’s national ranking slumped from 116 to 130, out of 150 councils. Officers remain optimistic that progress achieved over the last three years will be resumed next years, pointing to a number of positive indicators. And not all the news was bad. Totley Primary with a 100 per cent pass rate is one of the top 200 schools in the country, and no city schools are in the bottom 200.
Four primaries are rated among the most improved schools nationally, with improved pass rates for four years in a row - Manor Lodge, Malin Bridge, Woodthorpe and Wybourn.
Wybourn deputy head Helen Thornley said everyone was delighted with their pass rate of 82 per cent. “It’s the result of a lot of hard work by pupils, staff and also the children’s families.A combination of factors is behind the excellent progress we have made - but the most important thing is the strong foundations that are laid from nursery onwards.” Sheffield remains three per cent below the national average of 74 per cent, which remains the long term target for Sheffield’s 112 primary and junior schools.But the city’s performances have to taken within a wider context. When calculations are made to take into account levels of disadvantage, the city would rank 105th if it was fully punching its weight.
And if youngsters did achieve the national average, Sheffield’s ranking would soar into around 70th place.
Cabinet member for children, young people and families Coun Jackie Drayton said: “We should not forget that a number of schools in the city have worked extremely hard.
“However, overall Sheffield’s position is not a good one and this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. We all need to pull together to work even harder if we are going to stand any chance of overcoming this hurdle.”
* A SCHOOL from a deprived part of Doncaster is the most successful in the borough in the latest primary school league tables.
All 42 pupils in the year group which sat their key stage two tests at Bentley High Street Primary School this year reached the Government’s required standard in English and maths.
They top the table at a time when the borough’s schools are ranked 109th out of 150 schools in the country.
This is second in South Yorkshire behind Barnsley but ahead of Sheffield and Rotherham.
Across the borough, 72 per cent of pupils reached the target level four pass in English and maths. It means there is no change compared with 2010 and the borough is now two per cent below the national average of 74.
It is the second time Bentley High Street primary has topped the tables.
Headteacher Janis James said: “There is no secret to it - it is about hard work and dedication.
“We’ve got a very good intervention programme which starts with children when they are five or six, when we see they need support.
“We treat each pupil as an individual, looking at their potential and trying to make sure that they reach it.
“Regardless of deprivation, children all have a measure of intelligence.
“We say to our parents that their children are clever and bright - work with us and they will achieve their best.”
The school has its pupils put into ability groups and some extra sessions run after school are divided by gender.
In all, the school has 17 different after school clubs, run by the staff in their spare time. Many of them are in sport.
Mrs James says sport is used as an incentive for the pupils to work hard, as if they are working at the required level, pupils are more likely to be allowed to take time away from lessons to take part in inter-school sports events run during the day time.
She said: “I’m very proud of the pupils, and the staff, who work tireless.”
But she is keen to point out there are other success stories among the schools in some of the borough’s less affluent areas.
Hill Top Primary School in Edlington is also in the top 10, as is King Edward Primary School in Thorne.
No comment was available from Doncaster Council.
The National Association of Head Teachers has welcomed an overall national improvement in primary school standards.
How To Read The Tables - open or download on the link above:
KEY Stage 2 tests - also known as Standard Assessment Tests or SATs for short - are taken by all final year primary pupils in the summer term in the core subjects of English and maths.
Ministers judge schools by the percentage of pupils who manage to achieve the expected level for 11-year-olds - level 4 - in both key subjects. Rankings within the local authority are based on that figure.
SATs are used to measure a child’s progress over the previous four years and can be used as a guide to how well thei school is performing.
This is what this forest of figures means.
* Column 1 indicates the number of pupils eligible to take the tests in each school. This serves as a guide to the size of the school which is important. The smaller the number of pupils, the more results are likely to fluctuate.
* In columns 2 and 4 come the pass rates for English and maths, showing the percentage of pupils who have reached level 4.
* The figures in columns 3 and 5 indicate the percentage of pupils who have made two or more levels of progress in English and maths between the ages of 7 and 11 - in other words, have made the expected rate of improvement during Key Stage 2.
* Column 6 shows the all important percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 in both English and maths, the Government’s key indicator.
* Column 7 shows the school’s ranking within its local authority. For example Abbey Lane Primary in Sheffield has the 30th best pass rate in the city.