Wakefield primary school achievements among worst in country

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Wakefield is one of the worst performing local authority areas in the country for pupils failing to grasp reading, writing and maths in primary school, according to new Department for Education (DfE) league tables.

Just 77 per cent of 11-year-olds in the area achieved the expected level four grade in their Year 6 assessments earlier this year.

It means the district’s primary schools are the third worst performing in Yorkshire and in the bottom 15 of 150 schools nationally.

Earlier this year, schools minister Nick Gibb wrote to Wakefield Council to demand a plan to improve key stage two performance.

John Wilson, Wakefield’s director of children and young people, vowed to boost results.

He said: “The performance of primary schools in Wakefield has improved on last year’s performance and at a faster rate than the national rate of improvement.

“However, we believe our schools can improve still further and we will be working with them to continue the improvements they have already made.”

But, while 53 schools in the district failed to meet the national average of 80 per cent of pupils obtaining a grade four or above in writing, reading and maths, two were celebrating top marks all round.

Pontefract Larks Hill and Netherton J&I were the top performing school in the district with 100 per cent of students achieving the expected grade in maths, reading and writing.

Larks Hill Headteacher Alison Smith said: “Obviously, we are extremely proud of the school and the children. Everybody works really hard to get those results and it was a joint effort from all the teachers in the school.

“We are very pleased that all the hard work has paid off.

“I want to say an additional thank you to our deputy head Mr Parkinson who helped take the year six class when he first joined the school last year.”

Netherton head Georgina Haley added: “We are all extremely proud of our results which reflect a real team effort and hard work from all staff, children, parents and governors in achieving such high standards. Well done to everybody.”

The DfE said that the new figures showed difference in performance between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has continued to fall with more pupils from all backgrounds now starting secondary school ready to succeed.

Mr Gibb said: “As part of this Government’s commitment to extending opportunity for all, it is essential that every child leaves primary school having mastered the basics in reading, writing and maths. Thanks to our education reforms thousands more pupils each year are reaching those standards.”