New figures put primary schools in firing line


- Credit: Archant

A LOWER proportion of pupils are at good or outstanding primary schools in North Somerset than anywhere else in the South West.

Official figures from education watchdog Ofsted show that secondary schools are significantly outperforming their primary equivalents.

North Somerset Council has promised to support schools that are underperforming compared with others in the area.

The Department for Education has this week released figures showing the proportion of pupils achieving level four in reading, writing and maths when they leave primary school.

St Andrew’s Primary School in Congresbury was the only one in the north of the district to have a 100 per cent success rate.

Ofsted’s report shows nearly 90 per cent of students are at a highly-ranked secondary school in North Somerset, but at early years more than one in four are at either a school ranked only as satisfactory or in need of improvement.

Gary Lewis, headteacher at Gordano School in Portishead, believes primary school pupils are getting a solid grounding in key areas before moving on.

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He said: “The young people coming into secondary school at year seven have never been better prepared for learning than they currently are.

“If you look at standards in literacy and numeracy, they are historically good.”

A council spokesman emphasised there are no ‘inadequate’ schools anywhere in the district and Ofsted reports in the past 12 months have seen the majority of schools improve their rating.

He said: “The council continues to support and challenge schools causing concern. There is a School Improvement Strategy and clear action plans in place for all of them.

“The council has worked with school leaders to create the Learning Exchange North Somerset, which offers a comprehensive range of support for schools.

“We have had success in moving schools from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ and we have a number of schools which we believe will secure ‘good’ next time and further improve our figures.”