Schools doing better - but more is needed

By Ian Dipple Friday 21 December 2012 Updated: 21/12 10:09

SCHOOLS across Redditch continue to make significant progress in key exams but the majority still remain below the national and county average.

League tables recently published by the Department of Education show all of the area’s middle schools hit the government benchmark which expects 60 per cent of ten and 11-year-olds sitting standard attainment tests (SATS) to reach Level 4 in English and Maths.

The top performing school in the Redditch area was Alvechurch Middle School where 84 per cent of pupils achieved Level 4 in English and Maths. Ridgeway Middle School was the best performing borough school with 78 per cent of pupils reaching the expected level in the two core subjects, a 15 per cent increase on the previous year.

Big increases were also recorded at Ipsley Middle School where results were up 12 per cent on 2011 to 70 per cent and at Walkwood Middle School they rose 16 per cent to 76 per cent of pupils reaching Level 4.

St Bede’s Catholic Middle School and Woodfield Academy saw results drop to 71 and 70 per cent respectively. At Birchensale Middle School 69 per cent of children reached the expected level and 71 per cent at Church Hill Middle School, up ten per cent on the year before.

But despite the progress the majority of schools across Redditch remain below the national average of 79 per cent and 77 per cent across Worcestershire.

Coun Jane Potter, responsible for education and skills on Worcestershire County Council, said it was disappointing but should not take away from the good progress made.

“We are pleased with how everybody has performed but there is more work to be done,” she said.

“As a county council we have had a much tighter focus on the improvements needed so schools rated outstanding or good have pretty much been left to their own devices and we have focused on the ones that need help.

“While SATs results are a strong indicator of how a school is performing, they shouldn’t be taken in isolation, there are other aspects to our schools.”

Across the border in Warwickshire, 91 per cent of pupils at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Studley reached Level 4 in English and Maths with 78 per cent at Coughton Primary School and 66 per cent at St Mary’s CE Primary School.

In Alcester St Nicholas Primary School 88 per cent of pupils hit the expected level, 85 per cent at Haselor School and 94 per cent at Great Alne Primary School. Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School saw results drop by 31 per cent compared with last year and is the only one in the Alcester area to be considered ‘under performing’ with just 53 per cent of pupils achieving Level 4.

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