Latest Public Sector News

16.12.13

School performance improving for pupils from deprived backgrounds

The attainment gap between the most deprived children and their peers is narrowing, government statistics show.

Test results for half a million 11-year-olds show that 74% of children on free school meals (FSM) achieved level 4 or above in maths. The percentage for all other children of that age group was 87%, but the gap has narrowed by three percentage points since children started receiving the pupil premium in 2011.

The number achieving level 4 in 2013 in reading, writing and maths increased to 63%. But 767 primary schools were below the floor standard of 60% of pupils achieving level 4 in these subjects.

 Schools minister David Laws said: “It is encouraging to see that the attainment gap continues to narrow between the worst off and their peers but there is more work to be done.

“Today’s figures show a number of local authorities with unacceptable levels of attainment for poorer pupils. Schools in these areas must do better.

“We are supporting teachers by increasing the pupil premium for primary schools by £400 to £1,300 per pupil from next year so they have the resources they need.

“And Ofsted is rightly placing more focus on the attainment of disadvantaged pupils during their inspections – so schools will be held to account for poor performance.

“We are determined to drive up standards as quickly as possible in schools where there has been stubborn underperformance for years. More ambitious floor standards lead to high expectations for all pupils – and higher standards.

“Schools respond to this challenge and deserve credit for meeting the challenge head on. Where schools fail to improve, they will be taken over by brilliant academy sponsors with a track record of success.”

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