Primary School league tables: Yorkshire at bottom of progress table

Yorkshire has been placed at the bottom of a Government table measuring achievement and progress in primary schools.

The number of primary school pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths has risen again, official figures show.

Across the region, only 62 per cent of children aged 7-11 reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, the figures show. The statistic compares with 71 per cent in Inner London, the best performing area.

The Government’s annual primary school league tables also reveal that more than 12,000 pupils in Yorkshire are being taught at schools designated as underperforming.

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Some 44 schools in the region – three per cent of the total – fell below the “floor standard” for primaries, which is reached when fewer than two-thirds of pupils achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, or if they fail to make sufficient progress in the three key areas.

While the number of such schools has declined nationally, more than 90,000 pupils – just over two per cent of the total – are being educated at underperforming primaries.

In Yorkshire, the Leeds and North Yorkshire council areas have the highest number of such schools – eight each – while Kirklees has seven.

Sheffield, Barnsley, North Lincolnshire and Calderdale each have only one underperforming school, and Bradford two.

Additionally, just over five per cent of primaries in Yorkshire are defined as “coasting” – a measure which looks at results over the past three years. Nationally, the figure has risen to 640, up from 524 last year and 477 in 2016.

Schools come under this definition if, based on revised data for all of the past three years, fewer than 85 per cent of pupils achieved the expected standard at the end of primary school and they failed to make sufficient progress in reading, maths and writing.

Across the country, an average of 64 per cent of 11-year-olds who took this year’s Sats – or national curriculum tests – met Government targets in all three areas, up from 61 per cent last year.

The East and East Midlands had the highest percentage of schools below the floor standard, while London had the lowest at fewer than one per cent.

Norfolk had the biggest proportion of under-performing schools – 22 of the 231 mainstream primary schools in that local authority area.

The next highest proportions of schools below the floor standard were in Bedford and Portsmouth, both at around nine per cent.

In Derbyshire, 14 of the area’s 220 mainstream primaries were under-performing.

Earlier this year the Department for Education announced proposals aimed at ending confusion over how schools are measured. The system of using the two standards, floor and coasting, to judge school performance will be replaced with a new single measure.

Figures also showed the gap between disadvantaged pupils, those in or formerly in care or eligible for free school meals, and their peers had continued to decrease, narrowing by three per cent in the latest year and 13.2 per cent since 2011.

The school standards minister, Nick Gibb, said the statistics showed that standards were rising in schools.

He added: “Every child, regardless of their background, deserves a high quality education and opportunity to fulfil their potential.”