Minister calls for talks with four Yorkshire councils over test results

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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SCHOOLS minister Nick Gibb is to demand answers from several councils in the Yorkshire region after primary school results in their areas were among the worst in the country this summer.

New figures show Doncaster, Bradford, Wakefield and North East Lincolnshire schools had some of the lowest numbers of 11-year-olds getting to the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, nationally. The Department for Education will now ask these education authorities to produce a plan to raise standards.

Doncaster schools had 73 per cent of pupils achieving a level four - the standard expected in reading, writing and maths.

There were four authority areas in the Yorkshire and Humber region named as being among the worst-performing in the country, based on the results of this year’s Key Stage Two standard assessment tests.

In Bradford the figure was 74 per cent while in Wakefield and North East Lincolnshire the figure was 76 per cent.

Mr Gibb said: “I will be writing to the director of children’s services and directors of education of councils that are bottom of the league tables and asking that they meet me as a matter of urgency to explain how they intend to improve the teaching of reading and arithmetic in the primary schools under their control.”

Councils have now vowed to improve. Susan Hinchcliffe of Bradford Council said the authority was aware results needed to improve at a faster rate and that Ofsted had already endorsed its improvement plan.

Jo Moxon, Doncaster Council’s assistant director for learning and opportunities said the authority was disappointed by the results and would be working with headteachers and governing bodies to improve attainment levels.

John Wilson of Wakefield Council said the city’s results were improving at a faster rate than the national average but could improve further.

Nationally four out of five pupils reached the standards expected in the three Rs.