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Tougher targets pose new challenge to Nottinghamshire schools

09/08/2013 Kelly
Primary teachers will have to raise attainment levels at many Nottinghamshire schools next year, but local councillors are confident progress can be made.

Currently, a school falls below the government's floor standard if less than 60 per cent of its year six pupils achieve a level four or above in reading, writing teacher assessment and maths and are also below the national median for pupil progress in these subjects.

As of September 2014, however, schools will be expected to help at least 65 per cent of their pupils to reach these targets.

Those that fail to reach the floor standard are prioritised for improvement and also receive a visit from Ofsted inspectors.

Based on last year's Sats test results, seven schools in Nottingham and nine more in the surrounding county would fall short on current criteria, but this would rise to nine and 16 respectively under the new floor levels.

Nonetheless, Nottingham City Council's portfolio holder for children's services David Mellen has told This Is Nottingham he believes the numbers of schools failing will decrease.

He said the local authority and its schools are "up for the challenge" of raising attainment levels, but added that he believes schools should be judged on more than just results.

Councillor Mellen remarked: "We should be looking to raise achievement. But it must be recognised that sometimes schools can have a bad year of results if they have a cohort with a higher number of children with special needs."

Nottinghamshire County Council's service director for education standards and inclusion John Slater is also confident this year's Sats results, when published, will show many of its children have risen above minimum standards.

He insisted any schools that fall below the floor target will be suitably challenged and supported to achieve the necessary improvements in leadership and teaching, thereby ensuring all pupils make good progress.

At present, 78 per cent of primary schools in the East Midlands are rated as good or better by Ofsted, slightly beneath the national average of 79 per cent.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801623156-ADNFCR
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