More than 20 per cent of primary schools in Peterborough have failed to reach targets for pupils’ attainment in the three Rs, according to figures released today.
The statistics show that 12 out of the city’s 54 primary schools missed the benchmark for the Key Stage 2 Sats tests in reading, writing and maths.
The Department for Education (DfE) requires that schools ensure at least 65 per cent of their 11-year-olds reach Level 4 in reading, writing and mathematics and also meet national averages in pupil progress.
It means that 22 per cent of the city’s primary schools have missed the benchmark.
Peterborough is one of just 13 local authority areas where at least one in eight primary schools are below the standards required.
Education bosses say the news is disappointing but point out that an immense amount of work is being done in schools and the overall performance will be significantly better next year.
They also say the large number of overseas children at many city primary schools is a significant factor in the results.
According to results rankings, the best performing school was Wittering where all its 35 11-year-olds reached Level 4 in reading, writing and maths and also made progress in line with the national average.
It was closely followed by John Clare Primary, in Helpston, where all its 13 pupils aged 11 reached the required standard.
There were good performances from some of the inner city schools.
For instance, in 23rd position was Fulbridge Primary School, in Keeton Road, which has pupils from 30 different countries. It scored an overall achievement rate of 79 per cent. Ninety 11-years-olds took the Key Stage 2 Sats.
Southfields Primary School, in Stanground, is ranked as ninth with an attainment rate of 91 per cent
However, the poorest performance was at Dogsthorpe Academy, in Central Avenue, where 56 pupils took the Key Stage 2 tests with 44 per cent reaching Level 4 in the three key areas. Ranked in 53rd place is Watergall Primary School, in Bretton, where 46 per cent of youngsters reached the required standards.
Jonathan Lewis, assistant director for children’s services at Peterborough City Council, said: “We’re not happy with the figures but a lot of hard work is going on in many of these schools.
“Our schools are improving and rapidly but there are a lot of improvements to be made.
“I am confident that next year our position in the table will be much better.
He added: “The figures from the DfE are not final. A high number of pupils have just come to our schools from other countries. Their performances will be taken out of the figures by the DfE at a later stage.”
It is reckoned that 34 per cent of about 9,000 primary school pupils in Peterborough have English as their second language.
A table of all local authorities, ranked by the percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 or above in both reading and maths tests and in writing in their primary schools, puts Peterborough in 148th position out of 152 local authorities.
Nationally the number of schools failing to meet the expected standard is 768 compared with 767 last year. If judged by previously required DfE standard only 469 would have fallen below the required threshold.
Schools minister David Laws said: “I am pleased to see that primaries have responded to the challenge of a higher standard.
“We have raised the bar and schools have raised their game.”