Essex’s education chief warns against complacency after primary school SAT results improve

Essex County Council.

Essex County Council. - Credit: Archant

Essex’s education chief has warned against complacency after primary schools in the county showed a slight improvement overall in their SAT results.

The league table data released by the Department for Education (DfE) today showed that 75 per cent of Year 6 pupils in Essex reached the required Level 4 standard in reading, writing and maths this year – exactly the national average score and a percentage point improvement on the 74 per cent of Essex primary school pupils who made the grade last year.

Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, Ray Gooding, who represents the Stansted ward, said it was encouraging that results in Essex’s primary schools were “heading in the right direction”.

“I would like to congratulate all teachers, parents and pupils for their hard work and achievement in improving results at Key Stage 2,” he said.

“I am particularly proud to learn that 12 Essex schools achieved a fantastic 100 per cent in their results, with a further 66 per cent of schools achieving 90 per cent. Overall 211 Essex schools achieved above the national average of 75 per cent, proof that our results are heading in the right direction.”

Schools that shone in the Saffron Walden area included Debden Primary School and Radwinter Primary School, both scoring 100 per cent, while St Thomas More had 93 per cent of pupils reaching the Level 4 standard in reading, writing and maths.

Finchingfield Primary School was ranked 63rd in the country for the average SATs score per pupil, while Great Chesterford, Hatfield Heath and Little Hallingbury primary schools were all in the top 1,000 alongside Debden, Radwinter and St Thomas More.

Most Read

At Great Dunmow Primary School, 90 per cent of Year 6 pupils reached the Level 4 benchmark – down slightly from 93 per cent last year – while Dunmow St Mary’s had 71 per cent.

However, Mr Gooding warned schools not to rest on their laurels.

He added: “We must not be complacent. We are always striving to achieve the highest standard of education in Essex to give the children in our county the best possible start in life and will continue to look at how we can achieve even higher in the future.”

At teacher’s union NUT, general secretary for Essex, Jerry Glazier, also cautioned against using the table to compare different schools that may be facing different challenges.

He said: “People mustn’t fall into the trap of looking at schools at the top of the list and thinking they are doing better than those at the bottom.

“Some schools may be facing a range of socio-economic challenges, such as poverty, in their catchment, which works against academic attainment. It doesn’t mean teachers at these schools are doing excellent work.”

A full recap of how Uttlesford primary schools fared in the league tables will be included in next week’s Saffron Walden Reporter and Dunmow Broadcast.