Area’s schools are not up to scratch, say latest figures

Roberttown CE J&I school is among the highest achieving primary school in the latest league tables.
Roberttown CE J&I school is among the highest achieving primary school in the latest league tables.

The majority of primary schools in North Kirklees are failing to achieve the national standard in reading, writing and maths, new figures suggest.

The Department for Education’s latest league tables show that 30 out of 52 primary schools in the area (57.69 per cent) included in the rankings did not hit the 80 per cent benchmark for the performance of 11-year-olds in those subjects.

In Kirklees as a whole, just 78 per cent of pupils reached the expected level four or above, with the district listed at 124 out of 152 in the country.

The percentage has not increased since last year, but between 2012 and 2014 Kirklees schools did show a six per cent boost. Nationally, 80 per cent of pupils achieved level four.

Key Stage Two data for more than 20 schools in North Kirklees is not available in this year’s tables, however.

The district was ranked sixth in Yorkshire, a region which Ofsted recently warned has fewer good primary schools than anywhere in the country.

Cabinet member for Schools and Learning, Coun Shabir Pandor, said: “We are ambitious for all young people and one of our priorities is to ensure that primary schools keep pace with the national rate of progress.

“Systems are in place to promote these outcomes for younger learners and we will continue to focus on this challenge.

“It’s central to our work that pupils of all ages have a rounded educational experience and become resilient people, helping them to be ready for the next stage in their lives.”

Three schools in North Kirklees bucked the trend, achieving 97 per cent for children reaching level four or better in reading, writing and maths.

Hopton Primary School in Mirfield, Roberttown Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior and Infant School in Liversedge and St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Birstall, also each had positive results for making expected progress in the three areas.

Headteacher at Hopton Primary Andy Blakeley said: “We’re obviously very pleased. The children work very hard and all of the staff and parents work hard to find success for the children. “We try and have a very calm and relaxed atmosphere in school but there’s an awful lot of challenge for the children – when they have done their best we challenge them to do better. There’s no magic potion, it’s all down to hard work.”

Roberttown J and I head Samantha Laycock-Smith said: “We are delighted that the children have achieved these excellent results. Our staff – like teachers everywhere – worked very hard to support them.”