School pupils ‘are be­ing failed’ in city

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE - ALEXAN­DRA WOOD NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT ■ Email: alex.wood@ypn.co.uk ■ Twit­ter: @york­shire­post

ED­U­CA­TION: A coun­cil­lor has ad­mit­ted many pupils “are be­ing failed” in Hull af­ter new fig­ures showed that less than half were achiev­ing the equiv­a­lent of a Grade C in English and maths.

A COUN­CIL­LOR has ad­mit­ted many pupils “are be­ing failed” in Hull af­ter it emerged less than half were achiev­ing the equiv­a­lent of a Grade C in English and maths.

New fig­ures re­leased by the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion show the stark vari­a­tion in per­for­mance between pupils across the re­gion in this year’s GCSEs.

The sta­tis­tics show the best­per­form­ing author­ity across a range of mea­sures was North York­shire, where 70.4 per cent of stu­dents achieved at least a new grade 4 – equiv­a­lent to aC – in their English and maths GCSEs this year.

Com­ing bot­tom of 15 lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in York­shire and Hum­ber was Hull Coun­cil, which de­scribed its re­sults – just 49.1 per cent of stu­dents meet the bench­mark – as “very dis­ap­point­ing”.

Sec­ond and third from the bot­tom were Brad­ford (55.4 per cent) and North East Lin­colnshire (57.9 per cent).

Across the re­gion there was lit­tle cause for cel­e­bra­tion with only a third – North Lin­colnshire, Calderdale, East Rid­ing and York as well as North York­shire – per­form­ing bet­ter than the na­tional av­er­age (63.5 per cent).

Coun Phil Web­ster, port­fo­lio holder for chil­dren and young peo­ple’s ser­vices in Hull, said they “couldn’t spin the re­sults”.

He said: “By no means is this an excuse, but we are the third most de­prived coun­cil in Bri­tain and we don’t have leafy sub­urbs. Our av­er­age at­tain­ment would im­prove if the bound­aries were ex­tended.

“But we can­not get away from the fact that 50 per cent of the chil­dren are be­ing failed and not get­ting the ed­u­ca­tion they de­serve.”

How­ever, he said the Govern­ment needed to re­think acad­e­mies, say­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties “have vir­tu­ally zero” in­put into their run­ning. He added: “Last year the Govern­ment an­nounced they would be tak­ing statu­tory re­spon­si­bil­ity for ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment from lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. This is yet to hap­pen.”

North York­shire, fol­lowed by York, also came top in the re­gion for a mea­sure, in­tro­duced by the DfE last year, known as Progress 8, which mea­sures the progress of pupils across eight sub­jects dur­ing their time at sec­ondary school.

They achieved the same feat in At­tain­ment 8 fig­ures, which mea­sure achieve­ment across eight GCSEs.

County coun­cil­lor Pa­trick Mul­li­gan, ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for schools, said: “Th­ese are out­stand­ing re­sults for North York­shire and are a tes­ta­ment to the hard work and com­mit­ment of our young peo­ple and their teach­ers.

“This suc­cess re­flects the very strong teach­ing in the county’s schools, the part­ner­ship between the county coun­cil, schools, teach­ing school al­liances and the dio­cese as well as the strong part­ner­ship with par­ents and fam­i­lies.”

Mean­while, fewer teenagers are tak­ing a key set of aca­demic ex­ams as many turn their backs on languages.

The sta­tis­tics show a drop in the pro­por­tion of stu­dents be­ing en­tered for the English Bac­calau­re­ate (EBacc), which in­cludes English, maths, sci­ence, hu­man­i­ties (his­tory or ge­og­ra­phy) and for­eign languages.

In ad­di­tion, fewer young­sters are scor­ing the equiv­a­lent of at least a C grade in this com­bi­na­tion of cour­ses.

A DfE spokes­woman said: “We are dis­ap­pointed so many pupils are miss­ing out on study­ing languages. We know that em­ploy­ers value lan­guage skills, and as we move into a post-Brexit econ­omy those skills are go­ing to be­come ever more im­por­tant.”

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