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Some very encouraging figures today in primary school results showing a dramatic improvement in a single year. The measure of if a school is failing is where fewer than 60% of its pupils achieve at least the expected level (Level 4) in English and maths combined. In 2011, 1,310 primary schools were below that  "floor." This year 476 schools are below the floor.

That progress is a fantastic vindication of the Education Secretary Michael Gove for the tough approach he has adopted. Failing schools know that if they don't reach that minimum standard they will be put under new management as sponsored academies. While the teaching unions whine and seek to justify the betrayal of children the response of their members has been different. The teachers faced with that situation have increasingly risen to the challenge.

Not all of them, of course.

These are the local authorities with the highest ratio of failing primay schools.

  1. Portsmouth – 16 per cent
  2. Nottingham – 16 per cent 
  3. Kirklees – 11 per cent
  4. Peterborough – 11 per cent
  5. Medway – 11 per cent
  6. Derby – 10 per cent
  7. Norfolk – 10 per cent
  8. Bristol – 10 per cent
  9. Suffolk – 9 per cent
  10. Thurrock – 9 per cent
  11. North Lincolnshire – 9 per cent
  12. Calderdale – 9 per cent
  13. Wakefield – 9 per cent

Most of these are Labour councils. Portsmouth is Lib Dem. But some are Conservative – Peterborough, Medway, Norfolk, Suffolk, North Lincolnshire. I hope they will actively assist in finding sponsors to take over failing schools and do all possible to help find sites for new free schools to open to offer greater parental chice and the spur of competition.

 

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