Key Stage 2 results show significant improvements for Suffolk Schools

keystage2In amongst the focus on those all-important GCSE and A level results, there is another set of results I look out for and that is Key Stage two results as these are the forerunner to future performance and educational attainment of Suffolk Children at 16+.  The good news is that the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level in reading, writing and maths in primary schools in Suffolk is continuing to rise.
Data released by the Department for Education today shows 77 per cent of 11-year-olds achieved level 4 or higher in their SAT tests in the three subjects in 2015 – a 4 percentage point rise from the 73 per cent achieving the benchmark in 2014.  Statistics used here have been provided by the Department for Education (DFE).  The statistics from the DFE are a statistical first release (SFR) and provide provisional 2015 key stage 2 national curriculum assessment results for pupils in schools in England at national, regional and local authority level. The validated figures will be published in October 2015.
So the SFR says the Suffolk figure of 77 per cent significantly closes the gap to the national average which stands at 80%.  Last year Suffolk was six percentage points behind the national average.
Suffolk has improved on its ranking against all authorities and is now 118 out of 150. This is an improvement of 22 places from last year.
Another positive figure emerging for Suffolk is the progress in writing between Key Stages 1 and 2.  The percentage of pupils making the expected progress went up from 89 per cent in 2014 to 91 per cent this year.  The percentage of children making expected progress from key stage 1 to 2 in Reading and Maths also increased.  Both areas seeing a one percentage point rise.
So I think it’s congratulate to our students and all the staff that provide support to them.  These results are a credit to them all and bode well for the direction of travel our educational attainment is heading.

Raising the Bar – better GCSE results.

2015_06_25 Laura Wright Singing at Raising the Bar AwardsA few weeks ago the achievements of Suffolk pupils, teachers, schools and many more, were honoured at SCC’s second Raising the Bar Awards which I had the pleasure to attend and honour to present one of the awards at.

As I sat there I pondered the effect such events and the Leadership being displayed has on our schools system and what difference to the A level and GCSE results would it have.

Over the past couple of weeks we have seen those result published albeit the data is unverified and there can be a surprising amount of movement in that process. But overall its good news with A levels students achieving about the same and in the standard measure of five good GCSEs including Maths and English there was a rise of 4%.  In amongst the sea of stats there are is some excellent news that the results for disadvantages students have made a substantial improvement with 73% of schools reporting increased grades for disadvantages students.  But elsewhere there are still far too many schools hailing the results a great success, but when you put the results in context, their results are far from a measure of success.

So there is much to do but signs that our programme is working and things like the Raising the Bar event which was opened by Suffolk’s very own Laura Wright who sang beautifully and later on gave an inspirational speech about her own journey through education and the drive and determination it has taken her to achieve what she has in her life, are beginning to make a difference.

Some of Suffolk’s Academies are amongst the best performing schools and yet others are amongst the worse and during the interval I chatted with Tim Coulson, the East of England’s Academy Commissioner, about the changing nature of the relationship between Schools and the County Council as more look to move to be Academies and the very different outcomes that seem to be achieved.  I made the point that for all the change residents do look to their Councillors to help them navigate through the myriad of choices and to make sure standards of all schools are improving.  I also said the County Council is still charged with the planning of school places, paying for and building new schools, so a close working relationship is something we need to have and we agreed to meet to discuss how we could continue to build that here in Suffolk. It is interesting to note in the recent exam results a number of schools not in Local Authority control have yet to publish their results, and lets face it is not because the result are outstanding.  I personally think this is utterly unacceptable, parents have the right to know just as soon as the results are published.

60 shortlisted finalists across 20 categories were invited to the awards ceremony in Bury St Edmunds.  The ceremony was a celebration of education in Suffolk and how the county is Raising the Bar. everyone of the schools who won display the sort of system Leadership we need.

Education should be open and honest and most schools have published their results but disappointingly some are refusing to publish and thus are frankly displaying the sort of poor Leadership we need to work out of the system, you show Leadership by publishing your results.

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