‘Must do bet­ter’ to hit the pre-school tar­gets

Fig­ures show over­all per­for­mance lev­els low­est of all London bor­oughs

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PRE-SCHOOL chil­dren are less likely to reach a ‘good level of de­vel­op­ment’ by age five in Hilling­don than in any other London bor­ough, of­fi­cial fig­ures show.

Only 52 per cent of chil­dren in the bor­ough reached the gov­ern­ment’s ex­pected level of achieve­ment by the end of their Early Years Foun­da­tion Stage in 2013/14, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try in­spec­tor Of­sted’s lat­est an­nual re­port.

This was the low­est level in the cap­i­tal. The high­est was 75 per cent, in Lewisham. The to­tal London pro­por­tion was 62 per cent. The to­tal na­tional pro­por­tion was 60 per cent.

The fig­ures were taken from the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, which de­fines those reach­ing a ‘good level of de­vel­op­ment’ as those meet­ing ex­pected tar­gets for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and lan­guage; phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment; per­sonal, so­cial and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment; lit­er­acy and math­e­mat­ics.

Coun­cil­lor David Simmonds, deputy leader of Hilling­don Coun­cil and cab­i­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion and chil­dren’s ser­vices, said the fig­ures were at least im­prov­ing.

He said: “Chil­dren’s cen­tres and other early years ed­u­ca­tion providers in the bor­ough are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion, with over­all per­for­mance lev­els at 52 per cent of chil­dren reach­ing a good level of achieve­ment in the key ar­eas, an in­crease of 11 per cent in the last year.

“There is work to do and we recog­nise the need for them to fo­cus on lit­er­acy in or­der to en­sure out­comes are as high as pos­si­ble. How­ever, it is en­cour­ag­ing to see that they are achiev­ing well in in­di­vid­ual goals.”

The Of­sted re­port also ranked Hilling­don in the bot­tom third of all London bor­oughs in terms of the pro­por­tion of pupils at­tend­ing highly-rated pri­mary and sec­ondary schools.

The watch­dog found that in 2013/14, 81 per cent of pri­mary school pupils and 76 per cent of sec­ondary school stu­dents in the bor­ough at­tended schools rated ‘good’ or ‘out­stand­ing’.

Coun­cil­lor Simmonds said: “The per­cent­age of pupils at­tend­ing a good or bet­ter graded pri­mary school in Hilling­don has in­creased in the last year, in line with the na­tional pic­ture that pri­mary schools are im­prov­ing. Nearly all sec­ondary schools in Hilling­don are academy schools, which are ac­count­able to the Sec­re­tary of State for Ed­u­ca­tion.’’

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