Government warns that 22 'weak' Bradford primary schools could become academies

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Primary schools' performance is under scrutiny today Primary schools' performance is under scrutiny today

Twenty two Bradford primary schools have been warned that they could be forced to become academies after they under performed in this year's tests for ten and 11-year-olds.

Figures released today show that Bradford is the local authority with the third highest percentage of primary schools that the Government feels fall “below the floor”.

But the Department for Education has singled out one Bradford school for praise, saying it proves the academy system works.

Key Stage 2 performance tables published today show that 22 schools, 16 per cent of Bradford’s primaries, are down on four key measures - 60 per cent of children are not achieving level four or above in reading, writing and maths combined, and that the school is below the England median for progression by two levels in reading, writing, and maths.

The DfE says that while its previous focus had been on under-performing secondary schools, the Government would now look at tacking primary schools that do not improve.

A spokesman said: “Schools with a long history of under-performance, and who are not stepping up to the mark, will be taken over by an academy sponsor.

"The expertise and strong leadership provided by sponsors is the best way to turn around weak schools and give pupils there the best chance of a first-class education.

“Some of the improvements seen at new sponsored primary academies are remarkable – ending years of chronic under-performance.”

The DfE hails Ryecroft Academy in Holme Wood, Bradford, which is sponsored by the Northern Education Trust, as an example of how becoming an academy can turn a school around.

Today’s tables show that the number of pupils at the school achieving their expected levels in the tests rose from 26 per cent last year to 74 per cent this year.

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