The leader of Peterborough City Council admits the latest results for the city’s primary schools are disappointing, but he has sought to explain why Peterborough is ranked sixth bottom nationally.
Data released today (Thursday, December 10) shows 11 of Peterborough’s 56 primary schools are underperforming when it comes to basic reading, writing and maths.
This is a slight improvement on last year when 12 of 54 schools missed the benchmark for Key Stage 2 tests, but it still places the council as 146th out of 152 local authorities, compared to 148th 12 months ago.
To meet the government’s floor standard, schools must ensure that at least 65 per cent of 11-year-olds reach Level 4 in reading and maths national curriculum tests along with writing (which is assessed by teachers) and also meet national averages for pupil progress.
And in Peterborough, of the 11 schools not reaching the minimum requirement of 65 per cent, four are academies and seven are run by the council.
In total, 12 of Peterborough’s 56 primary schools are academies.
Responding to the latest results, Councillor John Holdich, who is the council leader and cabinet member responsible for education, said: “Ofsted has said city schools are improving quickly and in their annual report we are named as one of the country’s most improved authorities in terms of schools being judged good or better. These attainment outcomes are disappointing but also don’t tell the whole story.
“Results for the city have improved every year for the last five years and we are narrowing the gap to the national average. Attainment levels for local authority maintained schools are much closer to the national average and three per cent higher, on average, than academies in the city.
“The amount of improvement that pupils make between starting and leaving primary school is above the national average. This is pleasing given the local challenges which include a high number of pupils speaking English as a second language or from a disadvantaged background.
“Even with these challenges our focus is firmly on raising attainment. Low performing schools have been asked to produce improvement plans on which they will be held to account. We have also discussed low performing academies with the Regional Schools Commissioner.
“Standards of teaching and leadership in our schools are better than ever before and we are confident that attainment levels will continue to rise in the coming years.”