School re­sults ‘not where they want to be’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Rob Alexan­der robert.alexan­[email protected]­me­ Twit­ter: @robalexan­der001

The stan­dard of ed­u­ca­tion in Peter­bor­ough is “nowhere near where it wants to be”, ac­cord­ing to the city coun­cil’s as­sis­tant di­rec­tor for ed­u­ca­tion.

Gary Perkins made the ac­knowl­edge­ment at a Chil­dren & Ed­u­ca­tion Scru­tiny Com­mit­tee meet­ing last Thurs­day.

His com­ment fol­lows the pub­li­ca­tion of a coun­cil re­port which shows pri­mary school chil­dren of all back­grounds in Peter­bor­ough con­tinue to achieve far less than their equiv­a­lents na­tion­ally.

The city’s schools (many of which are academies) came se­cond bot­tom for Year 6 SATs re­sults in the past three years.

Mr Perkins told the com­mit­tee that “in many cases we are still send­ing our chil­dren to pri­mary school un­able to read or write”.

He added: “While there has been a steady, con­tin­ual, year on year im­prove­ment in terms of at­tain­ment in Key Stage 2, this has not seen a clos­ing of the gap be­tween the na­tional av­er­age, or even the lo­cal aver- ages for chil­dren of all back­grounds, and only a very slight im­prove­ment in maths and English com­pared with 2017.

“I ac­knowl­edge that Peter­bor­ough’s schools must treat ev­ery piece of mo­men­tum, no mat­ter how small it may be, as an achieve­ment in its own right, but the stan­dard of ed­u­ca­tion in the city and in the ru­ral schools is still nowhere near where it wants to be, and is well below the na­tional av­er­age in each of these Key Stages.”

The schools which the coun­cil has con­cerns about have all been con­tacted and of­fered di­rect sup­port. The main­tained schools have a named ad­viser work­ing along- side them, and each has pro­duced an ac­tion plan.

At academies, the CEO of the trust has been con­tacted by Mr Perkins with an of­fer to work in greater part­ner­ship.

Cllr An­gus El­lis (Labour, Bret­ton) pointed out: “These fig­ures are not very good at all, are they Mr Perkins? There has been vir­tu­ally no im­prove­ment over­all in read­ing and writ­ing, de­spite the claims of your re­port, and that sim­ply has to im­prove. I want to see more im­prove­ments over the next few years across the com­para­tor lev­els used to de­ter­mine these out­comes.”

Mr Perkins said GCSE re­sults have “sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved since 2016” but ad­mit­ted young­sters re­main well below the na­tional av­er­age. Cllr Mo­hammed Fa­rooq (Har­gate and Hemp­sted, Con­ser­va­tive) asked Mr Perkins if he has looked at the city’s best per­form­ing schools and used them as a model to im­prove the poorer per­form­ing ones.

Mr Perkins said: “Yes, but you have to un­der­stand that these schools are all very in­de­pen­dent and can­not be forced to adopt ed­u­ca­tion prin­ci­ples from other schools, no mat­ter how well they may ap­pear to be do­ing.”

Pupils tak­ing ex­ams

Gary Perkins

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