School Needs To Improve KS2 Standards Quickly Says Council

school 2 2014The Five Islands School needs to improve the reading, writing and maths skills of its Key Stage 2 pupils to avoid falling foul of new rules being introduced by the government.

At last week’s Children’s Committee councillors heard that this group has fallen below the national standards for the second year running.

The government says that 85% of pupils need to reach the required level but last year, the school managed only 65%. It was 76% in the previous year.

Anything less than 85% means the school could be defined as “coasting.”

Children’s Officer Keith Grossett told councillors that if it happens again this year, it could lead to an intervention by the Regional Schools’ Commissioner.

It’s an unusual situation because in later year groups, the results show the children regain ground and exceed the national standards.

Head Teacher Linda Todd says the small group sizes in Scilly can also skew the results.

She says just a couple of children with special educational needs can have a large effect on the numbers.

And Linda said the changes in the required levels from 60% to 85% are proving “quite controversial.” She said it’s a significant jump and a quarter of schools haven’t managed to achieve this.

Senior officer Aisling Hick says she was pleased to see rapid improvements in phonics over the past 18 months but that progress should be maintained.

Aisling said the school needs to be in a strong position especially with important decisions being made about academy status over the coming months.

Committee Chairman Christine Savill said the Council would be supporting an improvement plan at the school by “putting more money into it.”

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