YORKSHIRE has suffered a double blow – as test results revealed huge numbers of children struggling in failing schools and the Government revealed that the region houses more than 14,000 problem families.
A multi-million pound campaign will tackle “deeply damaged and broken” families, of which there are estimated to be 120,000 nationwide. The Prime Minister said 14,010 of these families are in the Yorkshire region. The most – 2,190 –were in Leeds, with 1,760 in Bradford. The Government, which is committing £448m to the programme, said each chaotic household costs about £75,000 a year to support– an annual bill of £9bn.
Hear education correspondent John Roberts debate the issues
LEAGUE TABLES IN FULL
Click the links to download PDF tables for each local authority, from the Department for Education
The announcement came as the latest school league tables revealed 180 primaries in Yorkshire are failing to meet targets and schools in two of the region’s cities have among the lowest levels in the country of 11-year-olds mastering the basics in both English and maths.
Wakefield and Hull were both in the bottom five education authorities with almost a third of pupils failing to make the grade, according to Department for Education figures. In both cities, only 68 per cent of pupils achieved the standard expected of the age group in their standard assessment tests (Sats) in reading, writing and maths this summer.
Schools are classed as failing if fewer than 60 per cent of pupils achieve level four results in both English and maths Sats and pupils fail to keep pace with the national average level of improvement in the two key subjects between the ages of seven and 11.
In Wakefield almost a quarter of schools – 23 per cent – failed to meet this target, while one in five of the worst performing schools in England is from Yorkshire.
A Campaign for Real Education spokesman warned that the chances of a generation were being jeopardised. He said: “More than 14,000 problem families in Yorkshire seems a very high figure and it is a very sad situation for our region if young people are being failed by both their families and their schools. The figures mean 180 primary schools in Yorkshire not only didn’t get 60 per cent of pupils achieving the basic standard but are also not improving at the same rate as the national average. The teachers in these schools really need to pull their socks up.”
Mr Cameron yesterday said the problem families initiative would “save the country a fortune” as well as rebuild “shattered” lives.
However critics warned councils – which must find as much as 60 per cent of the cash – would struggle to do so at a time of swingeing budget cuts.