TWO Leeds schools have been praised by a Government Minister for topping a new set of league tables which rank schools with pupils of similar ability.
The Government has created new tables which put every primary into a group of 125 and every secondary into a table of 55 schools based on pupils’ previous performance.
Schools Minister David Laws said the new tables would highlight those getting the most out of pupils while leaving coasting schools with “nowhere to hide”.
He has now written to St Anthony’s Catholic Primary in Beeston and St Bartholomew’s CE Primary in Armley, which were ranked top in their tables to both praise them and urge them to help raise standards elsewhere.
The schools were among 105 primaries and 56 secondaries nationally which all topped their tables, and which received a letter of congratulations from Mr Laws. The primary schools who received a letter were top of their “most similar” table and had 20 per cent more of their pupils achieving at least the expected level in both English and maths Sats tests when compared to a typical school with their intake.
Mr Laws said: “For the first time this measure lets parents identify the schools that are getting the best from children – while giving coasting schools nowhere to hide. The schools I have written to show fantastic results can be achieved even with a challenging intake of pupils.
“I have asked them to work closely with other head teachers so every child has the chance to go to a school as good as theirs.”
The tables ranked primaries on pupils’ scores in standard assessment tests done by 11-year-olds. The primary schools have been grouped together in tables based on teacher assessments of pupil ability when they were seven-years-old while secondaries are grouped together based on pupils’ Sats scores just before they left primary school.
Pauline Gavin, the head teacher of St Bartholomew’s, said: “We are thrilled to get the letter because we all work so hard, the staff, pupils, parents and governors. I think it is a good way of measuring school performance by looking at those where the pupils are similar to your own.”
Parents can see how their child’s school has performed compared to those with similar intakes by searching on the performance section on the Department for Education website.