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Results reveal Norfolk primary schools are improving

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 September 2016

File photo dated 03/12/03 of pupils during a lesson. More than 30,000 people have backed a

File photo dated 03/12/03 of pupils during a lesson. More than 30,000 people have backed a "kid's strike" boycott of the SATs exams next week. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 29, 2016. The Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign wants parents to keep their children off school, saying they are "over-tested, over-worked and in a school system that places more importance of test results and league tables than children's happiness and joy of learning". See PA story EDUCATION Sats. Photo credit should read: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Norfolk primary schools have leapt dozens of places in a government league table, a year after ministers summoned council education chiefs to Whitehall over concerns about standards.

Provisional Department for Education (DfE) statistics reveal 49pc of Norfolk pupils in their final year of primary school achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths.

The average across all 150 English local authorities was 52pc.

Norfolk was in 109th place in the league table, compared to 139th last year.

This year’s test results are not directly comparable to previous years, because the government abolished the system where children were expected to reach a Level 4 in reading, writing and maths, and replaced it with a tougher system where they are expected to score 100 or more on a new scale.

Roger Smith, Norfolk County Council’s chairman of children’s services committee, said: “It’s encouraging that Norfolk has moved 41 places up the rankings.

“It is clear that more work is needed to see primary schools in Norfolk nudge up to and above the national average, but we are moving in the right direction and that’s positive.”

Last year was the third year in a row the county failed to narrow the gap with the England average for children reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by the time they left primary school.

Following those results, the DfE named Norfolk as the joint-eighth worst county in England.

Schools standards minister Nick Gibb said he would write to council education leaders at the worst performing authorities requesting them to meet with him “as a matter of urgency”.

Commenting on this year’s results, Mr Gibb said: “These figures show that many schools and local authorities have risen to the challenge and have delivered high standards but we want that success to be the standard everywhere.

“We have made great strides with over 1.4m more pupils in good or outstanding schools than in 2010 but the government’s objective is to extend that opportunity so every child has the excellent education they deserve.”

Results for individual schools will be released in December.

Do you have an education story? Email education correspondent martin.george@archant.co.uk

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