Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Can Still Do Better

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Can Still Do Better

Article excerpt

Byline: By Cathy Spencer

Plea to parents to help more

Newcastle primary schools were today revealed to be in the lowest 10 per cent in England.

New league tables show the city has dropped six places to 141 out of 150 LEAs across the country.

Key Stage Two results for children aged 10 or 11 show maths dropping from 67% to 66% and science going down from 82% to 81%. The English rate is up from 66% to 67%.

Phil Turner, director of education and libraries at Newcastle City Council, said: "Regrettably, it has to be said that a significant number of parents do not place such a high value on education.

"This is shown by the fact that when we carry out truancy patrols, we too often find that children are out of school with their parents' blessing. It is also a sad fact that too many pupils go through a whole school career without their parents attending a single parents' evening.

"There is a real need to raise aspirations and change attitudes - and this will not happen overnight."

Gateshead is still the North East's best performing LEA, up 12 places on last year to 36th. It achieved 76% in English, 77% in maths and 89% in science, all up on last year's results. Also, its truancy rate dropped from 0.4% to 0.3% half-days missed.

Coun John McElroy, cabinet member for learning and culture at Gateshead Council, said: "Those results meant that thousands of young people across the borough have achieved something of real use - a standard of mathematics, English and science that will allow them to progress to their GCSEs, A-levels and beyond."

There were also celebrations in North Tyneside, which went up 13 places to 49. Pupils achieved an average of 77% in English, 76% in maths and 86% in science with truancy records at just 0.1% of half days missed due to unauthorised absence.

Linda Arkley, mayor of North Tyneside, said: "The borough has good reason to be pleased with these results. It's good news too that schools in North Tyneside are improving faster than the national average. …

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