Hull's 11-year-old pupils bottom of league - despite best-ever results
ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD pupils in Hull are among the worst in the country for key tests in English and maths, despite achieving the city's best-ever results.
Poor literacy among boys as well as stalling maths results are key factors as to why the city is joint bottom of the Key Stage 2 league tables.
The results, released by the Department for Education (DfE) ahead of the official league tables, show that, despite pupils in Hull making a 4 percentage point increase on last year – the city's best ever results – the authority has sunk to the foot, alongside Medway, in Kent.
This year, 72 per cent of pupils got the expected level four in both maths and English, the indicator which is now used to measure pupils' progress.
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It is up from 68 per cent last year. Nationally, 79 per cent of pupils gained the benchmark.
Ken Sainty, assistant head of service for school standards and improvement at Hull City Council, said officials were pleased with the gains pupils had made but disappointed to be at the foot of the table after other authorities also made significant improvement.
He said: "Of course we are disappointed, I know the effort that goes on in schools.
"We share the aspirations parents have and we can do better.
"We know we can because we are doing better."
He said the authority was always keen to achieve more.
"It's about continued progress, it does not all come together in one year," he said.
"We are pleased with the gains we made but then you look at what happens nationally – it just shows how difficult it is.
"The positive is, the results are still going up and it is still possible to get better results.
"To shift out of that bottom group is really hard, you have to get really big improvements to make any shift and it is really hard to make faster progress than anyone else."
In English alone, the city's results also rose 4 percentage points from 76 to 80 per cent of pupils getting level four, compared with 85 per cent nationally.
And in maths, results froze at 77 per cent, compared with 84 per cent nationally.
There were 2,500 pupils sitting the tests in May.
Mr Sainty says the authority must now take a closer look at maths.
He said: "We had a big input around reading and English and it has paid dividends.
"What is becoming a bit more of an issue is the maths.
"A few years ago, it was the other way around.
"We will now assess what we need to do in maths to get that up.
"First we will need to look at all the data. If we had been able to get the same sort of improvements in maths this year as in English then the picture would be different.
"That is something we are going to have to unpick with individual schools and individual pupils.
"We need to look at whether there are certain aspects proving to be more difficult than others.
"We will also determine how many got the English at level four, but not the maths and what aspect of maths for that pupil was the problem.
"It is about working with schools and getting right down to that level of detail."
Mr Sainty said the authority would also look to see if it could learn lessons from others.
He said: "We will look at other similar authorities and the results for our statistical neighbours and see if there are any who have made a big improvement and, if so, learn from them."
He also said schools would be working with boys to improve their standards in English after girls totally outperformed them in the subject.
This year, 86 per cent of girls gained the benchmark level compared with just 74 per cent of boys.