BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Education
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Hot Topics 
UK Systems 
League Tables 
Features 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Thursday, 7 December, 2000, 11:09 GMT
Row over better school test results
boy at desk
Tories say test results were rising faster pre-Labour
The government has ridiculed Conservative claims that standards in England's primary schools would have risen faster but for Labour "interference" in schools.

The school-by-school results, published on Thursday, show that 148 primaries managed to get the best possible score in the national curriculum tests for 11 year olds, up from 102 last year.

david blunkett
David Blunkett: "Strategies working"
The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, said the "excellent" results showed how well the government's literacy and numeracy strategies were working.

His Tory shadow, Theresa May, produced figures suggesting that the rate of improvement had slowed under Labour - but the government says that is a "ridiculous" assertion.

Click here for this year's tables

"Standards in literacy and numeracy are rising, even though the Department for Education and Employment themselves admit that had Labour not meddled in our education system, standards would have risen even further," Mrs May said.

Trend plotted

Her argument is based on projecting forward the average improvement in English and maths results during the last couple of years of the last Conservative government.

In 1995, for example, 49% of 11 year olds reached the standard expected of their age in English.

Theresa May
Theresa May: "Labour meddling"
This year it was 75% - but Mrs May says it could have been 84%.

Similarly in maths, the improvement from 45% to 72% could have been to 88%.

"We welcome the fact that schools are being encouraged to share good practice, but David Blunkett's strategies to improve standards are too prescriptive," Mrs May said.

'Appalling legacy'

But her suggestion was dismissed by a senior government source who pointed out that the maths test had been toughened when Labour came in, to include mental arithmetic.

"Theresa May now seems to think that the answer to the appalling state of reading, writing and maths which we inherited would have been to leave schools to sink," he said.

"The fact is that when we were elected, fewer than 2% of primary schools were using what we now know to be the most effective teaching methods."

The most important change had been in raising achievement in the most challenging inner-city schools.

Successful action

David Blunkett said he was particularly pleased to see that the results for 11 year olds in the first 25 education action zones (EAZs) had improved even more than the national average.

mis-spelled story title
Writing standards trouble school inspectors
"This reflects the excellent work that is happening in EAZ schools to improve primary standards given the disadvantages that these schools face," he said.

"The performance tables, as two new Ofsted reports confirmed last week, show that we are on course to meet our targets for 2002 of 80% of 11 year old pupils reaching the expected standard for their age in English and 75% in maths.

"We are announcing today that we are allocating 192m in the next financial year to be spent on literacy and numeracy with a particular focus on writing, where we still have more to do."

Ofsted raised concerns, not for the first time, that standards in writing were lagging behind the general improvement in English.

  • The news release sent out by Conservative Central Office said numeracy and literacy standards would have been even higher had Labour not "medalled in our education system".

    An apology and correction followed within the hour - accusing the government of having "meddled".

    The table below shows the 150 local education authorities in England ranked on the basis of their primary schools' performance in the national curriculum tests.

    The columns show the percentage reaching the level expected of their age in English, maths and science, and the sum of those results.

    LEA ENG MAT SCI Agg.
    Richmond-upon-Thames 83.90 81.20 92.00 257.1
    Rutland 83.30 83.10 89.80 256.2
    Kensington and Chelsea 83.80 80.70 91.00 255.5
    Wokingham 84.10 81.00 90.30 255.4
    Isles of Scilly 83.30 83.30 86.70 253.3
    Surrey 83.10 78.40 91.00 252.5
    Barnet 81.60 78.60 89.30 249.5
    Trafford 82.10 78.20 88.00 248.3
    Solihull 81.60 77.30 88.80 247.8
    Bury 79.60 79.50 88.50 247.7
    North Yorkshire 80.60 78.10 88.80 247.5
    Cheshire 79.80 78.40 88.70 246.9
    Harrow 81.60 76.50 88.60 246.7
    City of London 78.60 75.00 92.90 246.4
    Sefton 80.20 77.00 88.30 245.4
    Hertfordshire 80.30 76.20 88.80 245.3
    Kingston-upon-Thames 81.00 76.90 87.30 245.1
    Shropshire 78.90 76.80 88.70 244.4
    Buckinghamshire 80.40 76.30 87.10 243.8
    Bromley 80.20 75.60 87.90 243.7
    Hampshire 78.20 75.40 89.20 242.9
    East Riding of Yorkshire 79.30 75.10 88.40 242.8
    Westminster 78.30 76.70 87.80 242.8
    Stockport 79.30 76.20 87.20 242.7
    Bracknell Forest 78.40 75.80 88.20 242.4
    South Gloucestershire 78.40 76.00 88.00 242.4
    Bath and NE Somerset 76.50 78.20 86.80 241.5
    North Somerset 78.00 75.60 88.00 241.5
    West Berkshire 78.60 75.60 87.20 241.5
    St Helens 77.60 76.40 87.40 241.4
    Dorset 78.50 73.00 89.80 241.2
    Havering 78.50 75.60 86.90 241
    Sutton 79.20 74.10 87.70 241
    Cumbria 78.20 75.40 87.10 240.6
    Hillingdon 77.90 74.40 87.80 240.1
    Warrington 78.80 74.20 86.80 239.8
    Windsor and Maidenhead 78.30 73.20 88.20 239.7
    Leicestershire 77.60 73.70 88.00 239.4
    Herefordshire 76.80 75.70 86.80 239.2
    York City 78.00 73.90 86.30 238.3
    Warwickshire 77.10 73.20 87.40 237.7
    Gloucestershire 76.80 72.90 87.20 237
    North Tyneside 77.00 74.20 85.80 236.9
    Gateshead 75.60 73.50 87.60 236.7
    Cambridgeshire 76.10 73.30 86.50 235.9
    West Sussex 76.10 71.70 88.00 235.8
    Lancashire 76.00 74.00 85.40 235.5
    Staffordshire 76.10 72.20 86.80 235.1
    Durham 74.60 74.20 86.20 235
    Redbridge 76.90 73.30 84.60 234.8
    Leeds 75.70 72.90 86.00 234.6
    North Lincolnshire 75.60 71.80 87.20 234.5
    Stockton-on-Tees 75.80 72.80 85.70 234.4
    Wirral 77.00 72.20 85.20 234.3
    Bexley 77.10 72.00 85.10 234.2
    Bournemouth 76.10 72.40 85.20 233.7
    Darlington 74.20 74.70 84.30 233.3
    Oxfordshire 75.90 71.40 86.00 233.3
    Brent 75.20 73.50 84.40 233.1
    Cornwall 76.00 71.80 85.20 233
    Wigan 74.40 73.40 85.00 232.9
    Essex 75.80 72.60 84.40 232.7
    Derbyshire 75.70 72.10 84.60 232.4
    Devon 74.80 72.00 85.60 232.4
    Northumberland 75.60 70.80 86.00 232.4
    Bolton 75.10 73.60 83.60 232.3
    Lincolnshire 75.60 72.90 83.80 232.3
    Wiltshire 75.40 70.90 84.90 231.2
    Torbay 74.60 71.90 84.60 231.1
    national averages 75 72 85 231
    Northamptonshire 75.20 70.30 85.50 231
    Bedfordshire 76.30 68.80 85.50 230.6
    Redcar and Cleveland 74.40 70.90 85.30 230.6
    Halton 74.30 70.80 85.20 230.4
    Somerset 75.20 70.20 84.80 230.2
    Barking and Dagenham 71.50 70.60 88.00 230.1
    East Sussex 74.40 70.60 84.60 229.6
    Merton 75.20 69.00 85.20 229.4
    Suffolk 75.00 69.20 85.10 229.4
    Hammersmith and Fulham 73.40 71.20 84.60 229.2
    Slough 74.10 70.80 84.30 229.2
    Wakefield 73.70 71.50 84.10 229.2
    South Tyneside 72.30 73.80 83.00 229.1
    Hounslow 73.40 69.90 85.80 229
    Salford 74.00 71.90 83.10 229
    Ealing 73.30 70.90 84.60 228.8
    Croydon 73.60 70.80 84.20 228.5
    Norfolk 73.80 69.90 84.50 228.1
    Poole 75.40 67.00 85.10 227.5
    Calderdale 72.80 72.10 82.30 227.2
    Tameside 73.20 70.50 83.20 226.9
    Sunderland 72.10 70.50 83.90 226.6
    Isle of Wight 74.90 66.20 85.30 226.4
    Nottinghamshire 72.70 70.60 83.20 226.4
    Plymouth, City of 72.90 70.00 83.30 226.2
    Swindon 71.80 69.80 84.40 226
    Southend 71.60 71.20 82.70 225.6
    Kent 74.00 69.50 82.00 225.5
    Camden 71.90 70.60 82.80 225.4
    Brighton and Hove 72.10 69.80 83.30 225.3
    Hartlepool 72.10 70.00 82.70 224.8
    Oldham 72.80 70.20 81.80 224.8
    Worcestershire 73.50 68.10 83.20 224.8
    Telford and Wrekin 72.40 69.10 83.00 224.5
    Peterborough City 73.00 67.40 83.90 224.3
    Coventry 72.60 68.30 82.40 223.4
    Blackburn with Darwen 73.50 68.00 81.70 223.2
    Dudley 72.20 68.50 82.10 222.8
    Rotherham 70.50 69.90 82.30 222.8
    Enfield 72.20 68.50 81.20 221.8
    Kirklees 71.70 68.00 81.90 221.6
    Knowsley 69.70 68.00 83.90 221.6
    Wandsworth 72.20 68.70 80.60 221.5
    Stoke-on-Trent 69.40 67.70 84.00 221.1
    Rochdale 70.00 68.50 81.30 219.7
    North East Lincolnshire 71.10 68.10 80.40 219.6
    Luton 72.00 65.00 81.90 218.9
    Medway 71.30 67.40 80.20 218.8
    Liverpool 70.20 65.90 82.30 218.4
    Birmingham 69.50 67.20 81.30 218
    Doncaster 68.70 66.60 82.30 217.7
    Blackpool 71.60 66.30 79.30 217.2
    Islington 69.40 66.60 80.90 216.9
    Middlesbrough 69.00 66.90 79.90 215.9
    Southampton 67.40 65.50 82.90 215.8
    Tower Hamlets 67.70 68.50 79.00 215.3
    Wolverhampton 70.20 64.80 79.90 214.9
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne 68.30 65.30 81.20 214.8
    Lewisham 68.60 65.30 80.70 214.7
    Sheffield 68.50 65.90 80.30 214.7
    Barnsley 67.80 67.10 79.60 214.5
    Milton Keynes 68.50 64.00 81.90 214.4
    Derby City 68.30 67.00 78.70 214
    Portsmouth 67.40 66.30 79.50 213.3
    Kingston upon Hull City 65.40 66.60 81.00 212.9
    Reading 68.60 63.80 79.70 212.1
    Lambeth 68.00 65.10 78.90 212
    Walsall 69.40 63.70 77.50 210.6
    Waltham Forest 66.40 65.10 78.20 209.7
    Thurrock 64.60 63.90 80.20 208.8
    Leicester City 64.00 64.80 79.30 208.1
    Newham 64.80 64.10 78.70 207.6
    Manchester 65.30 64.40 77.60 207.3
    Bristol City 65.70 63.00 78.40 207.1
    Greenwich 64.20 62.40 78.80 205.4
    Haringey 64.70 62.80 75.50 202.9
    Sandwell 65.00 60.40 77.10 202.5
    Southwark 65.90 61.40 74.90 202.2
    Bradford 65.90 58.90 73.90 198.6
    Hackney 62.50 61.00 73.70 197.1
    Nottingham City 60.20 59.70 72.70 192.6

    Main text

  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's James Westhead
    reports from the school at the bottom of the league table
    The BBC's Mike Baker in Barking and Dagenham
    "The most improved education authority of any in England"
    See also:

    14 Dec 99 | Education
    Poor writing worries inspectors
    Internet links:


    The BBC is not responsible for the content of e