Manuden is the best primary school in England

AN UTTLESFORD primary school has been declared the best in England after pupils achieved an outstanding set of SATs results.

When primary school league tables were published last week, Manuden Primary, which has just under 100 pupils, came out on top with a 100 per cent pupil success rate.

It was one of six Uttlesford schools that ranked in the top 50. Great Chesterford C of E, Radwinter C of E, Henham and Ugley, Hatfield Heath Community, and Hatfield Broad Oak St Mary’s were the others.

Headteacher Linda Talbot, who has now been asked to work as a School Improvement Partner for this academic year, said: “I’ve got very supportive parents who want the best for their children. The governors work really hard for the school and we have a very happy environment.”

The 98 talented pupils at the school come mainly from the village, as well as neighbouring Stansted and Bishop Stortford, and while Mrs Talbot is away, acting headteacher Pauline Gordon has stepped in to help out.

“I’ve only been here since September but is a lovely school and the children really work hard and want to do well,” she said. “The environment is very supportive – it is a delightful school.”

The school was the only one in the entire country whose pupils exceeded basic Government maths and English targets for 10 and 11-year-olds.

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Only 13 were eligible to sit the Key Stage 2 exams, and all achieved Level 5 in both subjects when pupils in their age group are only expected to reach Level 4.

Elsewhere it was a different story entirely as some schools even boycotted the SATs in May following a ballot from the National Union of Teachers who said the exams were “disruptive” to pupils and aimed to “humiliate” teachers.

Those schools in Uttlesford were the Saffron Walden St Mary’s, Stebbing, Thaxted, Wimbish and the Rodings.

The NUT’s deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney criticised the exams saying “what they tell you more about is the social class of the intake”.