Educational attainment in Leeds is improving at all stages despite the city facing challenging times.
Figures being considered by the Leeds Education Challenge Board later this week show that the attainment levels of the city’s children have increased at each stage from early years to GCSE.
This year in Leeds, around 5560 five year olds reached a good level of development at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, an increase of 5 per cent from last year and a 13 per cent increase over the last three years. Some minority ethnic groups have improved by over 20 per cent in the past year. This means that children have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to make a good start to their learning when they enter primary school.
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 ongoing results published today show a 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. It is also anticipated that the number of young people achieving five A* to C grades not including the core subjects will increase to over 83%. Over four out of five Leeds young people now reach this level, four years ago it was just over three out of five.
Cllr Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“We are able to demonstrate some real successes across the board, with the best set of figures at every key stage. This is a tribute to the hard work of the city’s schools, pupils and their families to drive up standards. Despite many people facing unprecedented challenges in their lives, as well as the changing social climate of the city.
“We of course recognise that there are still areas we need to improve which is why we have set up the Leeds Education Challenge Board to continue to raise standards across the city.”
Primary schools 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 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 is currently seeing a big change in the social climate of the city, with many people choosing to make Leeds their home. This means more children are starting school who have English as a second language, as well as a higher proportion of children who are entitled to free school meals. In January 2012 8900 children were in reception classes across Leeds which is the largest cohort ever and 23 per cent of those are entitled to free school meals, compared to 18 per cent of the current year 11 (15 to 16 year old) of which the cohort is over 800 less at 8072.
The Leeds education challenge is an ambitious city-wide campaign to accelerate improvements in learning outcomes for all children and young people in Leeds. It is about schools working together and learning from each other, through school to school collaboration and support.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713