Council chief confident of better West Norfolk exam results

Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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Education chiefs say they are confident of a big improvement in exam results this summer, despite government data suggesting West Norfolk is among the lowest performing districts in the country.

The pledge came after government figures showed the borough was among the bottom 15 per cent of districts for GCSE performance last spring.

The figures from the Department for Education showed that 55.2 per cent of students achieved the “gold standard” of five A* to C grades, including English and maths last year.

Of 326 district authorities in England, only 43 had lower figures than West Norfolk. That group included Norwich City Council, which had the lowest figure of any council in the country.

But James Joyce, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s children’s services committee, said data taken from all the county’s schools suggested they were on course to meet their target of 60 per cent of students achieving that standard this year.

He said: “This bodes well for GCSE performance and would represent a significant improvement on last summer’s results.”

Reports presented to committee members suggested that 58 per cent of students are currently thought to be on course to achieve the GCSE standard this year, a figure which is within the two per cent range of tolerance set by the authority.

Elsewhere, officials say that more than three-quarters of primary school pupils are projected to be on course to achieve the expected standards for 11 -year-olds in reading, writing and maths, matching the county council’s target.

The projections are based on figures received from around 200 schools.

And there has been a 18 per cent rise in the number of secondary schools in the county which have been judged as being good or better by Ofsted over the past two years, and a 10 per cent rise in the number of primary schools that received a similar rating.

A total of 64 per cent of schools inspected during the spring of 2014 were judged to be good or better, compared with only 36 per cent during the same period in 2013.

Mr Joyce said: “Our administration acknowledged at the outset that attainment by students in Norfolk is simply not good enough, which is why we have set out on an ambitious programme of improvement.

“This will take some time to achieve but everyone is absolutely determined to drive standards up.”