Education: Poor-scoring schools move up the league

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More than twice as many schools as last year saw all their pupils achieve the scores expected of an 11-year-old in primary school league tables published today. Judith Judd, Education Editor, asks what the tables tell us about schools' performance.

Ministers are convinced that league tables are galvanising schools into improvement. Heads are equally convinced that changes in pupil intake mean that results will fluctuate from year to year whatever a school does. Today's tables show that many schools have improved dramatically since the publication of the first primary league tables last year.

Nationally, just over six out of 10 pupils reached the expected standard in English and maths and nearly seven out of 10 in science. Results were up on last year by six, eight and seven per cent respectively.

Last year's 10 lowest-scoring schools all move up the table. Some have made huge progress. Mellers school in Nottingham, where last year scores in English, maths and science were 17, 0 and 6, this year achieved 58, 83 and 83. Eileen Tiplady, the head, said: "We don't regard this as an improvement but just different statistics. One year's intake is so different from the next that you can't make comparisons."

In Birmingham, three schools in last year's bottom 20 made great strides. St Joseph's School in Nechells, for instance, increased its score from a total of 21 for the three subjects to one of 144 in performance from year to year.

Sir John Cass's Foundation School in the Corporation of London saw its score rise from 120 to 237 and the authority, which has only one school, secured second place in the local authority table on the strength of the school's improvement.

Four of the 15 schools where all pupils last year achieved the scores expected of an 11-year-olds in English, maths and science, were able to repeat their performance this year. Heads pointed out that the absence of just one pupil meant the automatic loss of the 100 per cent score because the tables do not take absence into account.

Thirty-nine schools out of around 14,500 saw all their pupils reach Level 4, the expected standard for an 11-year-old in all three subjects.

Rutland, with 18 schools heads the local authority table, with Richmond upon Thames, Bury and Surrey coming third, fourth and fifth. Newham, Hackney and Sandwell scored lowest. Church schools dominate the top of the tables as they did last year.

The Government is not publishing performance tables for primary schools this year but is requiring local authorities to publish them. The tables in The Independent for 125 of the 132 local authorities have been compiled by the Press Association. Last Friday was the deadline given by the Government to local authorities for publishing results.

Estelle Morris, the schools' minister, said yesterday: "Performance tables are important in our drive to raise standards. They help schools to monitor progress and set targets for improvement."

The best and the worst

Schools scoring 100 per cent in English, maths and science

Badger Hill Primary, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Cleveland

Chuddingstone CE Primary, Edenbridge, Kent

Culworth End CE Primary, Banbury, Northamptonshire

Daresbury County Primary, Warrington

Deer Park Primary, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Duddon St Peter's CE, Tarporley, Cheshire

English Martyrs, RC Primary, Oakham, Rutland

Flamborough CE Primary, Bridlington, Humberside

Henley school, Ipswich, Suffolk

Horspath CE Primary, Oxford

Kinnerley CE Primary, Oswestry, Shropshire

Lady E Hastings CE (GM) primary, Castleford, Leeds

Ley Hill County Combined, Chesham, Buckinghamshire

Little Horsted CE Primary, Uckfield, East Sussex

Lower Halstow Primary, Sittingbourne, Kent

Mission Primary, Doncaster

Oakridge Primary, Stafford

Our Lady of Victories, Wandsworth, London

Our Lady of Victories RC primary, Hammersmith, London

Ramsbury School, Marlborough, Wiltshire

Rivington Primary, Bolton, Lancashire

Rough Close CE Primary, Stoke-on-Trent

Shenington CE GM, Banbury

Silkstone Primary, Barnsley

St Chad's CE, Leeds

St Charles Borromeo RC, Weybridge

St Edmund Campion RC Primary, Nottingham

St Gregory's RC South Shields, South Tyneside

St Joseph's RC Wetherby, Yorkshire

St Michael's Bamford CE Heywood, Rochdale

St Paul's RC Blackburn, Lancashire

St Teresa's RC Thornton, Cleveleys

The Havergal CE Wolverhampton

The London Oratory, Hammersmith, London

The Sacred Heart, Ilkley, Bradford

Vernham Dean Gillums CE Andover, Hampshire

Wadsworth Old Town, Hebden Bridge, Calderdale

Walgrave Primary, Northampton

Witnesham City Primary, Ipswich, Suffolk

Ten lowest-scoring schools

Arnhem Wharf Primary,Tower Hamlets, London

Ashby Mill Primary, Lambeth, London

Heron Cross, Stoke-on-Trent

Hither Green Primary, Lewisham, London

Malinslee Primary,Telford

Oakenrod City Primary, Rochdale

Vauxhall Junior Mixed & Infants, Lambeth, London

Watling Middle School, Milton Keynes

Webster Pimary, Manchester

Western Primary, Grimsby

All schools in alphabetical