Schools move up in national league tables

MOVING ON UP: Wakefield has climbed 17 places.
MOVING ON UP: Wakefield has climbed 17 places.

Schools have improved their performance in national league tables.

Pupils at primary schools around the district have been congratulated for the results of tough new tests introduced last summer.

Wakefield primaries moved up 17 places in the national rankings after 11-year-olds took the controversial SATs tests.

John Wilson, the council’s corporate director for children and young people, said: “Wakefield has moved up 17 places, from 134th in the country to 117th, placing Wakefield as the highest in West Yorkshire.

“Wakefield Council is committed to ensuring that this improvement continues.”

Warnings had been made that the new exams put youngsters under too much stress and would lead to misleading data on primary school performance.

Teachers raised concerns that the exams were too hard, saying there was a lack of guidance for schools on the SATs, the first to test a new English and maths curriculum introduced in 2014.

But Olivia Rowley, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I would like to congratulate all children, teachers and parents whose work has contributed to this improved position on the new curriculum, and wish children well in their secondary schools. Our schools have responded well to the new tests and teachers and pupils have worked hard to put into place the new curriculum.

“I am pleased that Wakefield pupils are responding to this often complex challenge which is reflected across the district.”

Teaching unions raised fears over the reliability of the primary school performance data.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT union, said: “It is clear that the way in which assessments were undertaken have cast serious doubt on the validity and reliability of outcomes.”