Northamptonshire primary schools lag behind rest of country

Grendon Primary School head teacher John Wayland with Year 5 and 6 teacher Katherine Breakspear and pupils
Grendon Primary School head teacher John Wayland with Year 5 and 6 teacher Katherine Breakspear and pupils

Northamptonshire’s primary schools still trail the national average in the achievement and progress of pupils, according to new figures.

According to the Department for Education results for English schools, 72 per cent of county pupils reached at least the expected level four in reading, writing and maths.

Although that figure is one percentage point higher than last year, it is still behind the English average of 75 per cent.

Meanwhile, 59 per cent of the county’s pupils reached a tougher threshold which forms the Government target, compared to the English rate of 63 per cent.

The target has been set to determine which pupils are ready for secondary school.

In 50 of the county’s 351 primary schools, fewer than half of pupils reached that target.

It was not all bad news, however, with many schools excelling in the results.

Among them was Grendon Church of England Primary School, one of only three schools in Northamptonshire in which every pupil hit every target in both achievement and progress.

Headteacher John Wayland said: “We are really delighted.

“In March we got an outstanding Ofsted and this is the first post-Ofsted data.

“All eyes were on the school to see if we could maintain the high level of achievement.

“We are really happy to have great results across the board.”

Grendon School has also been ranked 40th in the Daily Telegraph list of England’s 1,000 best-performing primary schools.

Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said an increasing number of schools were becoming academies and so moving outside the authority’s control, although said they were “totally committed” to working with schools, academy sponsors and the Government to improve results.

The spokesman added: “In Northamptonshire we have had continuous year-on-year improvement and improved outcomes at all key stages.

“Attainment and progress at the end of Key Stage Two is the highest it has been for the past five years. We will continue to challenge schools where performance is a concern.”

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CORBY

Schools from the borough of Corby which came out near the top of the Department for Education league table in terms of percentage of pupils reaching at least level 4b in reading and maths and level four in writing – the Government target – were Stanion Church of England Primary School and Gretton Primary School.

Both had more than nine in 10 pupils reaching that benchmark.

Other strong performers were Cottingham Church of England School as well as two in the town of Corby itself – Danesholme Junior School and Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Primary School.

Acting headteacher of the latter, Rachael Byrne, said, “Everyone at the school is absolutely delighted with the Key Stage Two results.”

EAST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

The top performing school in the district of East Northamptonshire was Great Addington Church of England Primary School, which had a 100 per cent success rate in terms of pupils achieving level four in reading, writing and maths and also saw 89 per cent of pupils reach the Government’s tougher target.

All of its pupils also made the expected level of progress in all three subjects.

Other schools in the district which have fared well in the figures are Woodford Church of England Primary School, Brigstock Latham’s Church of England Primary School and Henry Chichele School in Higham Ferrers.

All three saw significant improvements in pupils’ achievement in 2013 compared with the 2012 results.

KETTERING

Every pupil at Hall Meadow Primary School in Kettering made the expected progress in reading, writing and maths in 2013, the figures have shown, while 97 per cent of pupils at the school reached the Government’s target of a level 4b in reading and maths and level four in writing.

Three other schools in the borough had more than 75 per cent of pupils reach that target – St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Wilbarston Church of England Primary School and Geddington Church of England Primary School.

Other high achievers were Barton Seagrave Primary School, Mawsley Primary School, Broughton Primary School and Brambleside Community Primary School.

WELLINGBOROUGH

The borough of Wellingborough is home to some of the best performing primary schools in Northamptonshire.

Among them is Grendon Church of England Primary School, which scored 100 per cent in all three disciplines both in pupils’ achievement and the rate making the expected levels of progress.

Bozeat Community Primary School also saw all of its pupils achieving at least a level four in reading, writing and maths.

The two schools were the only ones in the four local authority areas in the north of the county in which every pupil met the Government’s tougher target.

Other strong performers were Isham Church of England Primary School and Redwell Junior School.