Primary school league tables 2010 published

A third of Greater Manchester primary schools took part in a boycott of national tests – throwing new league tables into chaos.

Figures published today show 288 out of the region’s 869 primaries snubbed controversial exams after teachers criticised their fairness.

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The Key Stage Two tests are taken in May by every 11-year-old in thecountry to measure their performance in maths and English.

But the national action by teachers has left huge holes in this year’s results, with many leading schools having joined the boycott.

The highest-achieving Greater Manchester school on this year’s tables was North Cheshire Jewish Primary School, which was rated 10th best in England.

Pupils at the Heald Green school scored an average of 32 out of a possible 33 points in their English and maths test, displaying skills normally expected in children who are three years older.

Headteacher Jackie Savage said she had consulted other local schools before deciding to press ahead with the exams.

She said: “It was a difficult decision at the time. We consulted with staff and parents and talked to other schools. We came up with the joint decision to go ahead because the pupils had already put in a lot of work.

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“We are very proud of their achievements. There has been a lot of hard work in every year group.”

The next-best performing schools in the region were Park Road and Tyntesfield primary schools, both in Sale, which both scored just under 32 points. St John’s CoE primary in Radcliffe, near Bury, was bottom, with an average 23 points.

Teaching unions organised the boycott after complaining they were unfair and stifled creative learning.

Schools which previously featured prominently in the league tables, including The Deans primary in Salford and St Paul’s in Withington, joined the action.

Anne Whitehead, head of The Willows primary in Wythenshawe, which has been rated outstanding but did not take the tests, said there was too much pressure on pupils.

She said: “It can lead to them being branded failures at such a young age.

Click here to see the tables

“The focus on passing the tests narrows what is taught in the classroom. It isn’t about trying to get them interested about subjects, it is about passing very limited criteria.”

Another head, who did not want to be named, added: “There are schools that shut the curriculum down in the months leading up to the tests. It’s not the best thing for pupils.”


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