Primary schools here are top of the league

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CALDERDALE primary schools are the best in West Yorkshire.

They also performed slightly better than the national average in the Key Stage 2 tests for 11-year-olds, held during the summer.

A total of 2,482 pupils took the tests in English, maths, science, reading and writing.

At least four out of five children reached the expected standard in every subject except writing, where the success rate was 77 per cent.

Writing was also the worst subject in other West Yorkshire schools and the country as a whole.

The test results, published today, exclude small, independent and special schools.

Three Calderdale schools achieved 100 per cent passes in four of the five subjects.

The 17 pupils who took the test at Hebden Royd Primary got full marks in English, science, reading and writing tests – as did the 15 eligible pupils at Midgley School and the 15 at Salterlee Primary in Halifax.

Five schools got full marks in the maths tests – Bailiff Bridge, Barkisland, Cornholme, in Todmorden, Sacred Heart, at Sowerby, and Siddal Primary, Halifax.

In 2010, most Calderdale primary schools boycotted the Standard Attainment Tests because they produce league tables which critics say are of little help to parents. They also tend to favour smaller schools with just a few bright youngsters and do a dis-service to larger schools that might have children with learning difficulties.

Gugsy Ahmed, head of Parkinson Lane Primary, Halifax, organised an inter- school football match last year in protest at the tests.

He felt demos had helped to bring about some changes to the system but more were needed.

The National Union of Teachers wants greater emphasis on regular classroom assessments.

“Teachers evaluate a much wider range of pupils’ learning, over a longer time period, than is possible through SATs,” said the union’s Calderdale secretary, Sue McMahon.

“The money saved by abolishing SATs could be invested development activities that would ensure that teachers’ assessments were consistent between and within schools and free from any unconscious bias.”

In previous years, the overall test results have also showed Calderdale schools better than most.