Collaboration brings better results even for strugglers

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TWO Yorkshire schools have been highlighted by the Government for transforming the chances of children who struggled as seven-year-olds.

Long Lee Primary, in Keighley, and Bentley High Street Primary in Doncaster were among 27 schools across the country which were praised by the Department for Education yesterday.

The schools saw every pupil who was low attaining as a seven-year-old go on to achieve the expected standard in English and maths as 11-year-olds this summer.

Nationally around a quarter of pupils who are judged to be low attaining at seven go on to achieve level four results at 11.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “These figures reveal how well different schools educate children of lower ability.

“We need to help schools learn from those head teachers and teachers who deliver a high standard to all those children, including those who struggled at key stage one, or who are from a poorer background.”

Long Lee Primary is in a federation with Ingrow Primary in Keighley and both schools celebrated record results in this year’s standard assessment tests. The schools federated last year after Long Lee’s headteacher Louise Smith became executive head of both schools to strengthen leadership at Ingrow.

She told the Yorkshire Post that the school improvement work being done at Ingrow had also helped to improve standards at Long Lee. “We have had record results at both schools.

At Ingrow we have used intensive support programmes for children and this has made a difference at Long Lee too,” she added.

She said the schools had closely monitored pupil performance at regular intervals to identify areas which might need improvement, and this allowed teachers to develop “personalised learning” programmes for the schools’ pupils.

Although both Long Lee and Ingrow have celebrated success this year Mrs Smith warned against reading too much into the figures.

“I am not in favour of league tables because they are just sets of complex data and schools are so much more than this.”