London schools - another success story

Fiona Millar's picture
I am feeling very proud of my local schools today. The latest Primary Performance Tables have just been published and show a story of improvement across the country. This is especially interesting as so few primary schools have converted to academy status which proves that success isn't actually due to 'independent' status and is instead down to the sheer hard work and commitment of schools, teachers, heads, governors, and of course pupils, across the country.

And it is particularly good to see London boroughs, especially those educating the most deprived communities, continuing to outperform many of their more affluent neighbours. The percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 in English and Maths at KS 2 was 80% across the country in 2012. In London it was 81% and in Inner London 82%. When it comes to pupils achieving expected progress between KS1 and KS2 , London does even better. The national figure for English is 89%, in London it is 92% and in inner London 93%, in Maths the national figure 87%, the London figure 90% and inner London 91%.

Perhaps even more significant is the performance of  boroughs with high levels of deprivation like Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Camden and and the much demonised Haringey , all of which outperform  Michael Gove's leafy Surrey on the progress measures . Full tables are here

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Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 21/09/2012 - 11:00

I noticed that the Statistical First Release misleadingly described LA schools as:

"Local Authority maintained schools: Schools fully or partially under local authority control that are state-funded, mainly by the Dedicated Schools Grant."

The DfE knows perfectly well that LA schools are NOT fully controlled by their LA - LAs are only responsible for providing those backroom services paid for by the small portion of a school's budget that is retained to pay for these services.

More officially-condoned misinformation. This is worse than a SPAD-influenced press release - the First Release is an official statistical document.

Michael Lyon's picture
Thu, 27/09/2012 - 00:07

I think Janet Downs is being a little harsh on the DfE's statisticians, here. The description she cites comes at the end of the statistical release, and is one of 10 different categories of school covered. It doesn't seem an unreasonable description, but equally if she feels it is inaccurate, that is a point that can be objectively made. The statistical release as a whole has the 'National Statistic' kitemark, meaning that it has to conform to the National Statistics Code of Practice (impartiality, objective commentary etc.) and comes under the oversight of the UK Statistics Authority, an independent public body accountable to Parliament created under Labour's Statistics and Registration Act 2006. There are statistical controversies in education - classification of academy schools, and GCSEs, of course, are examples, but I don't think that this is a big one. All I am saying is to give the statisticians a break! Janet Downs may or may not have a point, but the accusation of 'officially condoned misinformation' is a bit strong.

agov's picture
Thu, 27/09/2012 - 09:41

The statement quoted by Janet Downs is not a matter of statistics nor was it necessarily written by statisticans. It is a statement about control. It is also in part a lie and the DfE must know it is a lie.

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