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Displaying items by tag: kent primary schools

The 2014 National Primary School Achievement tables have now been published showing major improvements for Kent and a slight improvement for Medway over last year.

Kent has continued its steady increase against national norms, with 79% of schools achieving Level 4 at Key Stage 2 in reading, writing and maths, the same as the national average – in 2013 Kent was 1% below, and in 2012 2% below. 19 schools had 100% of their pupils achieving this level up from last year’s twelve, details below, with particular mention for Bodsham CEP School who also came top of the county table for percentage of pupils achieving Level 5.   

Bodsham                    

Kent is also performing above the national norm: by counting Level 5 scores; and with the proportion of pupils achieving Level 4b in each of reading, writing and maths; and also in the average point score. Well done! There are also some very welcome improvements at schools I have previously criticised, such as Tree Tops Academy and Molehill Copse Primary School, details below.  Eight schools are below the government Floor Standard of 45%, a fifty per cent reduction on last year’s 16 schools although, worryingly, all but one one of these has declined in performance on last year. 

Medway, at 75% remains 4% below the national average, the same as 2013, when it was 144th out of 150 Local Authorities, and 6% below in 2012 when it was in last place, although it has now crept up to 140th, so there is improvement. What is pleasing in Medway is that there is just one school, Phoenix Junior Academy, below the Government Floor Standard of  schools achieving 45% at Level 4, whereas last year there were two. Top school is Chattenden Primary, 100% Level 4s and top of the Level 5 Table.

One has to approach the whole Key Stage 2 outcomes with caution, remembering the enormous pressure on schools to deliver, with headteachers’ jobs at stake. I talk to many Year 6 parents in state schools in the summer term each year, and habitually ask if their children have done anything interesting in school. Consistently the answer is “No, they have been practising SATs”. I doubt it’s that bad, but it is a strong indicator. The consequence is that KS2 results may be partially a reflection of the proportion of time and the coaching skills employed, rather than the real quality of the school. Nevertheless, with this caveat, KS2 results are an important indicator, published in time for primary admissions. Sadly, this year two Kent schools have seen their KS2 results suppressed by the Standards and Testing Agency for alleged cheating, such is the pressure to do well.

Further details below………

Published in News and Comments

IMPORTANT UPDATE 13th December at top of "Further Information" below

Cllr Kelly Tolhurst, Medway Council Portfolio Holder for Educational Improvement in September:

It is pleasing that results at primary level are increasing each year and parents can be assured of a good start in their children’s school life.

To no one’s surprise, except Medway Council’s, Medway has come well bottom of the national league table for OFSTED outcomes, published today. Medway Council came 152nd out of 152 Local Authorities, one place below last year’s appalling results, with 53% of its pupils in Good or Outstanding Schools, down 6% on last year’s 59%. Nationally, the figure is 82% up from 79%. This decline, both absolute and against the national trend, was absolutely predictable although not apparently to Medway Council, as my previous OFSTED article shows,  with 11 schools declining in performance, against  just 4 improving, and no Outstanding schools at all this year. 

This dire performance follows many previous years of dreadful results, with Medway Council betraying an astonishing complacency year on year. 

Kent primary schools have improved slightly in position from 132nd to 130th, with a few more schools improving their grading than declining. However, a shocking 18 schools failed their Inspection. Again, fuller details here. However, for Kent the future is looking much brighter, as Key Stage 2 results this year, as yet unconfirmed, show a positive picture, every measure being improved on last year to around the national average. 

The paradox of poor primary OFSTED results and good secondary results, underlined by examination performance at Key Stage 2 and GCSE, continues with Kent secondary schools coming 37th in the country on OFSTED outcomes (up from 54th in 2012/13) and Medway 41st (down from 25th). Now that every Medway secondary school is an academy, and over two thirds of those in Kent, the Local Authority has much less influence in performance

I have now included an update on published OFSTED Inspections this year, at the foot of this item, Kent improving, guess what about Medway!.......

Published in News and Comments

The complete set of OFSTED Reports for 2013-14 have now been published and they confirm the very different fortunes of primary, secondary and special schools across Kent and Medway. I published the outcomes of secondary and special schools in a previous article and this one now looks at underperfoming primary sector. Another article highlights failings in both Authorities part way through the year.

Leaders of both Authorities are fond of quoting the combined results of the three sectors, as they hide the gulf between the excellent performance of secondary and special schools which are mainly academies, independent of the Local Councils, and the disappointing, in some cases shocking outcomes of primary schools as a whole, mainly run by the Local Authorities. In response to a previous article on disappearing primary headteachers, the KCC representative falsely claimed that the 80% Good or Outstanding Inspection results this year proved that KCC’s policy was working. In fact, with 81% of 26 secondary schools, 80% of 10 special schools and 54% of the 128 primary schools achieving Good or Outstanding, the overall figure is just 60%, well short of the claimed figure.

A full set of statistics is given below, with a KCC analysis, consistent with the results in this article,  available here. OFSTED results for every Kent and Medway Primary School are also provided on the website.

First the good news......

Published in News and Comments
Monday, 15 September 2014 00:00

Pressures on Primary Places in Kent and Medway

You will find an expanded version of this item in an article I wrote for Kent on Sunday published 21st September 2014

 

There has been much comment in the national media on the growing shortage of primary school places and Kent is no exception. In May I wrote articles on primary allocations in Kent and Medway, identifying some of the pressure areas as: Sevenoaks, Gravesham, Dartford, Tunbridge Wells, Thanet, Maidstone and Tonbridge in Kent; and much of Medway, especially Chatham, Rainham and Rochester.

I am now receiving concerned enquiries almost daily from families who have moved into or are planning to move into the area and are finding no suitable school, or in some cases no school at all being offered. Others have been allocated schools they didn’t apply to and are now finding out the problems. These are exemplified by an email circulated to primary school headteachers in Gravesham at the beginning of September by the Local Authority desperately seeking places for 23 children in the Borough (9 in Dartford) in Years 1,2 and 3 without a place.

In 2012 KCC drew up a Commissioning Plan which developed a strategy for creating the 10000 new places needed by 2016. This is already creaking at the seams and the overarching principles set down to guide it appear a distant memory.

I am not sure what, if any, strategy is being followed by Medway Council.....

Published in News and Comments
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 22:25

Congratulations to Kent primary schools

 

cobham

I have in the past been highly critical of Kent primary schools performance as measured by both OFSTED and Key Stage Two results at the end of children’s time in primary school, but recent statistics show a dramatic improvement in Kent’s primary OFSTED standards. 

sheldwich

This follows a new strategy for improvement prepared by KCC last year, and I have now measured the change by comparing OFSTED Reports recorded since September with those of previous years. For the three years until July 2012, there were 278 OFSTED Reports for Kent primary schools, of which just 41% were ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, the majority being ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘Inadequate’ (making up the four possible grades), with an unacceptable 36 schools failing their inspection. Contrast this with the more recent performance by 51 schools, achieving 63% ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, an improvement of over half again on the previous figure. You will find a record of every Kent primary school OFSTED for the past four years here, with Medway here, along with further information on some schools.  

This would have been even better were it not for the continuing dire performance of Maidstone’s primary schools, which have a record of being the worst performing district since I started keeping records,......

Published in News Archive

Medway primary schools continued their disgraceful performance standards with the worst Key Stage 2 results in the country in 2012. This follows the two previous years when they were also in the bottom five of all the 147 Local Authorities in the country. Just 72% of children achieved what is seen by government as the required minimum standard of Level 4 at Key Stage 2 in both English and mathematics, as against 79% in the country as a whole. Shocking indeed, but sadly wholly predictable. Back in April I wrote about the Council’s Report on Low Standards at KS2, where I described the proposals to improve standards and its appalling record with OFSTED Inspections as follows: “With these two sets of dreadful results one might expect to find a degree of introspection by the Council to reflect on why they, the only common factor linking these schools, are responsible for failing so many of the children in their care. Not a bit of it! The first two of twelve recommendations make clear who the fall guys are in this analysis that contains not a single recommendation on how Medway Council might improve its own performance”. You will find my article in full here. At the time of the Report, Medway’s Education Officer responsible for school standards said: “I don't think we are failing children but I think we could do better and we are working with the schools to do better”. I have news for her, which should come as no surprise. Medway Council is indeed failing the children for whom it is responsible, and damaging each one’s life chances.  The full table of results is here..........

Published in News Archive

The Annual OFSTED Report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, published last week, contains damning statistics on the state of Kent and Medway’s Primary schools for the year ended August 2012, which has rightly attracted considerable media criticism.  I was on holiday in France and so unable to make a closer examination of the figures, which I have now completed, and somewhat to my surprise this analysis shows a much rosier picture. I have been collecting data on all OFSTED Inspections in Kent and Medway for nearly three years, and the primary figures up until August are as follows. All figures are given as percentages:

Comparison of OFSTED Reports for Kent & Medway Primary Schools,

against national figures by percentage

 

Outstanding

Good

Satisfactory

Inadequate

Kent

6

35

45

13

Medway

0

34

44

22

National

14

49

32

6

In fact the figures over three years together are far worse than the comparable data for 2011-12, showing that in both authorities, the last year has actually seen considerable improvement,  albeit from a very low base.

Nevertheless, with Kent 10th from bottom in the whole country, with just 55% of primary school Inspections being Good or Outstanding for 2011-12, and Medway immediately behind at 54%, this improvement is nowhere near good enough, and reveals years of underachievement by schools in both Local Authorities.

These facts I knew, but because of personal circumstances have not been able to record OFSTED Inspections since September. However, this report has spurred me to do so, and I will over the next month incorporate them into the relevant pages on the website, at Kent & Medway. What the figures show is a much improved state of affairs in Kent, but no changed conclusions for Medway, because of the small number of new schools inspected........

Published in News Archive
Thursday, 01 March 2012 16:00

Kent & Medway Secondary Transfer Day

Latest additions in bold. 

Parents in Kent and Medway will have started receiving the allocated secondary schools for their children from 4 p.m. today (Thursday) if they registered to receive them by email, otherwise everyone should have received their decision by post on Friday. 

Headlines: Much the same as for 2011; main difference is a further rise in pressure on West & North West Kent grammar schools, fuelled by an increase in out county  applicants. Super selective required scores provided below

Congratulations to my first enquirer for a consultation, from Medway 4.15 p.m.!

The main Kent table of outcomes is as follows:....

Published in News Archive

Key Stage 2 results for all primary schools in England were published today, with some improvement for Kent schools, although they are still below the national average. This year there are nine Kent schools in the bottom 200 in the country, which is better than 2010 when 10% of all the bottom 200 schools were in Kent. However, the results must still be a matter for serious concern as the proportion of children across Kent achieving Level 4 in both maths and English at Key Stage 2 continues to be consistently below the national average,.........

Published in News Archive
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