Poorest performers saw protests over gypsy camp and boycott of SATs tests
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Friday 16 December 2011
Three schools vied for the bottom spot in this year's league tables – all registering that none of their pupils reached the required standard in maths and English tests.
One was Crays Hill primary school in Billericay, Essex, which faced severe disruption a few years ago when local parents withdrew their children after those from a nearby gypsy camp enrolled at the school. The school is in the throes of improving its performance but said in a statement: "We are sad that none of pupils achieved expected levels in the Key Stage Two SATs tests and it is something the school works constantly to improve.
"We work hard to engage parents in the education of their children and while we continue to make progress on this we know that more work needs to be done to make sure we get the results our pupils need and deserve."
A second school, Hollywall in Stoke-on-Trent, failed its inspection by Ofsted, the education standards watchdog, earlier this year. As a result, it is line to be converted into an academy as a part of the Government's programme to crack down on the 150 poorest performing schools. All those who have failed to reach its floor target of 60 per cent of pupils reaching the required standard in maths and English for the past five years are in line for a shake-up in the way they are run.
Holywall only had 10 pupils sitting the tests this summer but all of them failed to make the grade in maths.
The third school is the Steiner Academy in Hereford, which has joined the academy programme. However, its philosophy is to nurture the "whole child" rather than submit to a rigid testing regime and has consistently registered nought per cent as parents have refused to allow their children to take the test.
In a fourth case, Catfield school in Great Yarmouth, the tests were declared null and void due to an error in the way they were administered.
To view the Primary School League Tables 2011, grouped by local education authority, click here
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