YP Comment: Under-achievement's root causes

TO put this year's primary school league tables in context, most pupils are meeting '“ or exceeding '“ the Government's targets and they should be applauded for doing so.

That said, just over five per cent of the region’s schools – 81 in total – are not making the grade and there appears to be a preponderance of under-performing primaries in Calderdale and Doncaster.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It remains to be seen whether these specific performances were a blip – the application of performance criteria invariably throws up statistical oddities each year – or whether there are more deep-rooted problems, such as a difficult cohort of pupils with challenging learning needs or a shortage of top class teachers.

Though the teaching profession does not enjoy this scrutiny, and associated pressures, it is serving a useful purpose and exposing a fundamental weakness in the education system which has been 
long highlighted by The Yorkshire Post and long neglected by policy-makers.

It is this. If pupils don’t grasp the rudiments of literacy and numeracy at an early age, they will, invariably, struggle at secondary school – and then find it more difficult to obtain work at a time when skills have never been more important because of both Brexit and Britain’s digital revolution. The sooner this lesson is learned, the better.