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Schools: Standards

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in each local authority area his Department considers to be (a) low attaining and (b) under-performing. (132379)

There are several ways to define low attainment and underperformance in relation to schools. The House of Commons Education Select Committee report of December 2003 recommended that a distinction should be drawn between low absolute levels of attainment (for example, a performance benchmark such as 25 per cent. five A*-C grades at GCSE) and low performance, which generally involves a value added measure.

Underperformance is particularly difficult to define with clarity. For example, by definition, 25 per cent. of all schools will appear in the bottom quartile of any performance measure, but the cohort of these schools will change year on year, so such schools are not necessarily persistent underperformers. Therefore, no schools have been formally classified as underperforming by DfES.

For the purposes of this question, low attaining primary schools are defined as those at which fewer than 65 per cent. of 11-year-olds achieved the target level 4 of the national curriculum in both English and mathematics in 2006 and where performance has been below 65 per cent. in both subjects for the previous three years. 65 per cent. is the minimum level set in the Department’s floor targets for primary schools.

Low attaining secondary schools for the purpose of this question are defined as those in which less than 25 per cent. of 15-year-olds achieved five A*-C at GCSE or equivalent in 2006. 25 per cent. is the minimum level set in the Department’s floor targets for secondary schools.

All low attaining schools are subject to support programmes, particularly those provided by the primary and secondary national strategies. Although we have not classified the schools as underperforming we have funded a programme that identified secondary schools that were likely to benefit from the raising attainment in teaching and learning (RAIL) initiative to tackle underperformance. A total of 764 schools are included in RAIL.

The national strategies are continuing to work with all local authorities in using comparative data to help identify underperforming primary schools and to support them in raising standards of literacy and numeracy through interventions such as the Intensifying Support programme.

The following table gives the number of schools in each local authority based on the above criteria.

Local authority

Number of secondary schools in which less than 25% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent in 2006

Number of primary schools in which fewer than 65% of 11-year-olds achieved the target level 4 of the national curriculum in both English and mathematics in 2006 and where performance has been below 65% in both subjects for the previous 3 years

Number of secondary schools which have joined the RAIL programme designed to address potential under performance

Barking and Dagenham

3

Barnet

Barnsley

3

7

Bath and NE Somerset

Bedfordshire

1

4

Bexley

2

2

Birmingham

8

19

Blackburn

2

1

Blackpool

2

Bolton

5

Bournemouth

1

1

4

Bracknell Forest

3

Bradford

2

13

6

Brent

1

Brighton

1

2

Bristol

1

10

3

Bromley

2

Buckinghamshire

3

9

Bury

1

7

Calderdale

1

1

Cambridgeshire

1

6

Camden

1

Cheshire

1

4

12

City of London

Cornwall

1

4

Coventry

2

7

Croydon

3

Cumbria

2

1

15

Darlington

1

3

Derby

1

3

Derbyshire

1

7

Devon

1

4

11

Doncaster

1

6

Dorset

1

Dudley

1

2

Durham

1

15

Ealing

East Riding

1

10

East Sussex

3

5

Enfield

2

Essex1

3

4

16

Gateshead

1

Gloucestershire

1

1

6

Greenwich

2

Hackney

4

Halton

4

3

Hammersmith and Fulham

Hampshire

1

2

29

Haringey

4

1

Harrow

1

Hartlepool

1

Havering

1

3

Herefordshire

4

Hertfordshire

1

1

17

Hillingdon

3

Hounslow

Isle of Scilly

Isle of Wight

Islington

2

Kensington and Chelsea

1

Kent

1

13

9

Kingston upon Hull

5

Kingston upon Thames

Kirklees

1

6

8

Knowsley

1

8

Lambeth

2

Lancashire

1

9

15

Leeds

1

5

18

Leicester City

9

3

Leicestershire

1

12

Lewisham

1

Lincolnshire

1

1

18

Liverpool

5

4

Luton

1

1

6

Manchester

2

6

5

Medway

2

1

2

Merton

Middlesbrough

3

Milton Keynes

1

4

1

Newcastle

5

3

Newham

1

Norfolk

9

11

North East Lincolnshire

3

North Lincolnshire

1

8

North Somerset

6

North Tyneside

4

North Yorkshire

1

1

19

Northamptonshire1

2

16

Northumberland

3

Nottingham City1

4

3

Nottinghamshire

6

13

Oldham

2

7

Oxfordshire

3

15

Peterborough

2

3

Plymouth

1

3

Poole

1

1

Portsmouth

4

1

Reading

3

3

Redbridge

Redcar and Cleveland

4

Richmond upon Thames

Rochdale

1

5

Rotherham

3

4

Rutland

1

Salford

1

4

Sandwell

5

11

Sefton

2

12

Sheffield

2

11

3

Shropshire

6

Slough

2

1

Solihull

4

Somerset

3

6

South Gloucestershire

7

South Tyneside

2

3

Southampton

1

5

Southend

1

Southwark

1

St Helens

4

Staffordshire

1

4

27

Stockport

4

Stockton-on-Tees1

2

1

2

Stoke-on-Trent

7

10

Suffolk

3

2

Sunderland

2

7

Surrey

1

2

26

Sutton

1

Swindon

1

1

4

Tameside

1

2

5

Telford and Wrekin

2

3

Thurrock

1

Torbay

1

1

Tower Hamlets

Trafford

1

Wakefield

5

6

Walsall

1

4

5

Waltham Forest

1

Wandsworth

1

Warrington

1

2

Warwickshire

11

West Berkshire

2

3

West Sussex

14

Westminster

Wigan

7

Wiltshire

2

9

Windsor and Maidenhead

5

Wirral

3

1

Wokingham

3

Wolverhampton

2

7

Worcestershire

1

5

York

1

3

Total

47

282

784

1 Includes one school with fewer than 10 pupils aged 15