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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Cumbria's primary schools praised for exam performance

Primary schools in Cumbria have been praised for performing above the national average.

Today parents find out just how their child’s primary school fared in key stage two exams, otherwise known as SATs, that were taken earlier this year.

The results for the tests, sat by 11-year-olds in maths, science, reading and writing, for each school in the country have been published by the government.

Pupils that sat the exams have now moved on to secondary schools and will already have their individual results.

Across the country, 539,495 pupils took the exams with 75 per cent of them achieving the national standard level four or above in English and maths, an identical figure to last year.

There was good news for Cumbria as the county’s schools performed slightly above the national average.

Schools recorded an average of 77 per cent for levels four and above in English and maths.

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “It’s very pleasing to see primary schools in Cumbria getting recognition for their excellent results and hard workin exceeding the national average.

“We know that pupils, staff, parents and governors put in a tremendous amount of effort and dedication into getting good results and we’d like to add our congratulations to those from the schools minister.

“We are committed to ensuring that every child receives the best possible education in Cumbria and the performance of many of our schools shows we’re on the right track.”

Carlisle MP John Stevenson also praised the results for Cumbria’s schools.

He said: “It is pleasing to see Cumbrian primary schools performing above the average and we want them to continue to improve.

“I have to commend the work of the schools, teachers, and the pupils themselves.”

A change in the way English results are calculated has resulted in some figures differing from last year’s published result.

Last year, overall results were calculated by combining an average reading and writing score with maths results to produce a figure. Now, the overall figure shows the percentage of pupils that gained a level four or above in all of maths, reading and writing. The government’s own targets have also increased in the same way in order to drive up results.

This year, primary schools where fewer than 60 per cent of pupils achieved at least the expected level (level four) in the reading test, the maths test and the teacher assessment of writing, and which were below the progress measures in all these subjects, were cited as being below standard.

Schools, however, did respond to changes by driving up their own standards.

This year 767 primary schools in the country were below the standard, compared to 834 primaries last year.

A Department for Education spokesman said schools had responded to the challenge.

He said: “This government brought in higher primary school floor targets with one aim in mind – to drive up standards with immediate effect to end years of entrenched failure. Schools responded to this challenge. The floor standards introduced were tougher and performance is improving. Heads, teachers and pupils deserve credit for meeting the challenge head on.”

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