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Bradford councillor 'astounded' over school discrepancy
9:00am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
Five out of every six primary schools in Bradford are good or outstanding, despite pupils turning in one of the country’s worst test results, it has been revealed.
The discrepancy between good teaching and poor exam scores is “astounding”, according to a councillor who leads a committee scrutinising schools.
In May, 84 per cent of the district’s primary schools had been judged good or outstanding by Ofsted, a Council report reveals.
But the publication of the Key Stage Two SATs results last month showed Bradford’s performance was the third worst in England.
The league tables showed one in three children are failing to achieve the standards expected of them in reading, writing and maths before they leave primary school.
Councillor Malcolm Sykes, chairman of Bradford Council’s children’s services overview and scrutiny committee, said he was mystified by the mixed messages.
He said: “If they’re coming up with teaching and learning that is good to outstanding, why isn’t it translating into the kids’ results?”
Coun Sykes said he would be raising the matter at the committee’s next meeting, on Tuesday.
He said: “It seems astounding. If schools are good to outstanding, the schools are obviously okay.
“The fact they are not turning that into results that pushes us up the league tables suggest that the league tables are not the be-all-and-end-all.”
He said perhaps there was a better way than SATs results to measure educational attainment.
Coun Sykes said the committee had been working for a year on a project examining the schools system. As part of that they had interviewed teachers, education bosses and union representatives. He said the committee was trying to see if there was a silver bullet which would help Bradford “break out of this circle of despair”.
The committee is due to publish its findings this month, but Coun Sykes said it was already clear money was not the problem.
He said: “It’s not funding, so it’s got to be something else.”
Councillor Ralph Berry, executive member for children’s services at the Labour-run Council, said: “There is a discrepancy, let’s be clear about it.”
He said they were now looking at improving links between schools and homes, and also monitoring the results of the ongoing Born in Bradford medical study.
Coun Berry said the overall picture across primary schools was improving.
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