Three middle schools in north Northumberland, which could be closed under proposals for reorganisation in the area, performed well above average as the Key Stage 2 league tables were released today.
The results from this year’s SATs tests taken by all 11-year-olds at primary or middle schools have shown that the average in Northumberland for those achieving Level 4 or above was 79 per cent, the same as the national average. The percentage achieving Level 5 or above was 24 per cent, again matching the national average.
Both of these figures are an improvement from the 2013 results, which in turn were better than in 2012.
Level 4 is what is expected from pupils in reading, writing and maths and indicates that children can spell, start to use grammatically complex sentences and use joined-up handwriting. In maths, they are able to multiply and divide whole numbers by 10 or 100 and use simple fractions and percentages, among other things.
In north Northumberland, the majority of schools fared better than average with the pick of the bunch being Seahouses Middle School, which saw 92 per cent of pupils gain Level 4 and above and 32 per cent Level 5 and above.
The other two schools, both in Alnwick, which could be closed if a two-tier system was introduced were also right up there.
The Duke’s Middle School saw 91 per cent gain Level 4 and above and 26 per cent Level 5 and above, while Lindisfarne Middle School notched 86 per cent and 36 per cent, despite still being in special measures following last October’s Ofsted inspection.
Glendale Middle School in Wooler managed 90 per cent Level 4 and 32 per cent Level 5, while Dr Thomlinson’s C of E Middle School in Rothbury scored 89 per cent and 36 per cent.
James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) – South Avenue, in Amble, had the next highest percentage of Level 4 and above with 72 per cent, one point ahead of St Mary’s C of E Middle School in Belford. However, the Belford school fared much better at Level 5 and above with 38 per cent compared to JCSC’s 22 per cent.
The third school with a Level 4 score below the national and county average was St Paul’s RC Middle School in Alnwick with 69 per cent, although it was above average on the Level 5 front with 26 per cent.
However, all of the schools were above the expected requirement of ensuring 65 per cent of pupils achieve Level 4 or above in reading, writing, and maths.
Here are the results of the schools at a glance with the first number showing the percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 or above and the second number Level 5 and above, in order of Level 4 achievement:
Seahouses Middle School......92......32
Duke’s Middle School......91......26
Glendale Middle School......90......32
Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School......89......36
Lindisfarne Middle School......86......36
JCSC South Avenue......72......22
St Mary’s Middle School......71......38
St Paul’s Middle School......69......26
Also today, Ofsted has launched the North East, Yorkshire and Humber regional report, which shows that while there has been some improvement in the region, much remains to be done.
Almost three-quarters of the 27 local authorities in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber region increased their proportion of good or outstanding primary school in 2013/14.
However, the poor performance of secondary schools remains the region’s biggest problem. A third of the region’s secondary schools students still do not attend schools that are good or better and standards and literacy and numeracy at the age of 16 are among the lowest in England.
Nick Hudson, Ofsted director for North East, Yorkshire and Humber, said: “There have been some improvements in the region since the last annual report. I am really pleased that 30,000 more pupils are attending primary schools that are good or better than was the case this time last year.
“Indeed, the performance of primary schools across the area is broadly positive. However, secondary schools must do better.
“The biggest challenge we face is the poor performance of the area’s secondary schools. Too many young children have a good or better education at their primary school, only to then attend a school that must improve.
“Schools in some areas, notably North Tyneside, have demonstrated that it can be done. I want to see the success of these areas replicated elsewhere.
“Looking ahead to next year, Ofsted inspectors will be working with schools and councils to raise the proportion of good and outstanding schools, and help raise the prospects of those pupils from poorer backgrounds.”