Educational attainment in Leeds is improving at all stages despite the city facing challenging times.
The annual review of the city’s education, which has been discussed by Leeds City Council’s executive board today, shows that the attainment levels of the city’s children have increased at each stage from early years to GCSE and attendance figures are the best ever.
However, the report also acknowledges that there are still areas for improvement but that Leeds is already tackling the challenges head on and continued improvement is expected.
Members of the executive board were shown that there are now many more good and outstanding schools in Leeds compared to last year and although there are 16 primary schools which fall below the government’s floor targets, this is half as many as in 2011.
The board also heard about the on-going success of the Leeds Education Challenge, which is an ambitious city wide campaign to raise standards and improve learning outcomes for Leeds pupils. The Leeds Education Challenge promotes challenge, partnership and innovation amongst all Leeds schools to that school leaders are able to access the support they need and ultimately raise the standard of education across the whole city.
Councillor Judith Blake executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“There have been some great improvements in many of our schools this year which are a tribute to the hard work of the city’s schools, pupils and their families to drive up standards.
“However we do recognise that overall standards are not high enough in some of our schools, but we are confident that through the Leeds Education Challenge we can continue to make a positive difference.
“We are already well positioned to address the main issues in this annual report and will continue to drive up education standards for children and young people in Leeds.”
The annual report shows that the number of children, who achieve a good level of development at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, has increased by five per cent from last year and a 13 per cent increase over the last three years.
Primary schools in the city have also seen an improvement in achievement over the past year with 77 per cent of children at the end of primary school achieving the national standard of level four in both English and maths, this is compared to 73 per cent in 2011. Pupils in Leeds continue to make better progress in core subjects than that seen nationally. In English, 92 per cent of Leeds pupils made expected progress in 2012, above the national figure of 89 per cent. In maths, 89 per cent of Leeds pupils made the expected two levels of progress between ages above that seen nationally, which was 87 per cent.
Leeds pupils also achieved better GCSE results than ever before despite the unfair grading of English GCSEs which resulted in many Leeds pupils being downgraded from a ‘C’ to a ‘D’. Even with this issue the annual reports shows further improvement in the proportion of Leeds young people achieving five of more A* to C grades including English and Maths GCSE, with 54% reaching this level. The proportion of young people achieving five A* to C grades in any subject rose to over 83.7%. Over four out of five Leeds young people now reach this level, four years ago it was just over three out of five.
The overall picture for Key Stage 5 (post 16) is also positive, with the percentage of students achieving two or more passes continuing to rise. In 2012 96.2% of students achieved this benchmark, up 1.6% on last year. However, Leeds remains well below the national average for high achieving students with only 5.7% achieving 3 of more A* to A grades.
Attendance in Leeds has continued to get better with an improvement of 1.1%, which is over double the improvement in 2010/11. Both authorised and unauthorised absences reduced in 2012 as did the number of persistently absent pupils. However Leeds is still higher than the national average for absence levels.
The number of permanent exclusions also reduced in both primary and secondary schools in 2012.
The report also demonstrates the recognition from Ofsted that many schools in Leeds are providing quality education. Overall the proportion of good or outstanding schools has increased at both secondary and primary level over the past year.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713