‘Education will improve in Peterborough’

Year 6 pupils at Eye C of E Primary school celebrate3 their school's top ranking in the city schools league table. EMN-171219-161824009
Year 6 pupils at Eye C of E Primary school celebrate3 their school's top ranking in the city schools league table. EMN-171219-161824009
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A leading Peterborough head teacher believes the city’s education standards are set to improve as schools strive to increase attainment.

Eye Primary Jason Webster said crucial work was being done to make changes to Peterborough’s under fire education system.

Eye Primary finished top of the city primary school league tables, well above the national average for results for the second year in a row.

But as an authority, Peterborough sits second bottom nationwide for achievement at the end of primary school.

Mr Webster said: “Over the past two and a half years we have changed the way we approach teaching - for example, we have taken the Singapore approach to maths.

“But one of the biggest factors is the support and co-operation of parents. They come in and take part in workshops, and we take time to talk to them.

“We have a large number of after school clubs - happy children and happy parents help make good schools.”

Following their success, Mr Webster said they had been asked to support other schools - and he said collaboration was the key to improvement across the board.

He said: “We have been asked to support a number of schools in the city - we have had 36 visit and observe out teachers.

“We have visited schools in Nottingham and London.

“I think you have to look outward - look at what other authorities are doing, and that is what schools here are doing now.

“I think we will see improvement because the right steps are being taken.”

Last week Paul Brooker, director of Ofsted for the East of England, said Peterborough needed to take steps forward to improve attainment in the city. As well as low attainment figures at primary school level, the number of primary schools getting good or outstanding Ofsted inspection reports had also fallen in the past year.

Councillor Lynne Ayres, cabinet member for education, skills and university, said: “We have appointed a new service director for education across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, Jonathan Lewis, who will look at the strategic ways of improving attainment for both primary and secondary schools - showing our determination to work corroboratively and looking for best practice.

“We have also bid for funding to support programmes in schools that target areas where we know there are weaknesses, such as reading. We have more teaching school applications; our existing teaching schools are working more closely with other schools; we have the best cohort of new teachers, trained in Peterborough, that we have ever had and there are more of them; we have provided more school places for an ever-growing population than we have ever provided before, and we still have new schools opening.

“Our work to ensure children are ready to start school is paying dividends, with more children judged to be meeting expected standards and deemed ready to start school in 2017 than they were in 2016.”

A spokesman for the Elliot Foundation, which is in charge of Eyrescroft Primary School, which finished 55th in the city, said: “Eyrescroft Primary School has been part of the Elliot Foundation since December 2015.

“The Trust is confident that the leadership of the school is doing the hard work necessary to significantly improve outcomes for all Eyrescroft children.”