Yorks pupils ‘fall below average’

SHOCK figures show the link between poor performance in primary school and failure at GCSE affects children in Yorkshire more than anywhere else.

Leaving primary school without a grasp of the three Rs is condemning thousands of children to GCSE failure.

Only one in 20 pupils fromYorkshire classed as low achievers at the end of their primary education achieved Government GCSE targets last year.

And the percentage of low achievers in Calderdale primary schools who got five good GCSE’s including English and maths was just 3.3 per cent – with only Barnsley (2.9 per cent) and North Lincs (3.2) worse.

The district scored better across the region on figures based on the level of deprived pupils achieving five good GCSEs at 30.3 per cent, putting it fifth in the regional league table.

Analysis by the Yorkshire Post of more than 300 secondary schools revealed how poor performance and poverty blighted young lives.

Yorkshire was found to have the worst literacy level at the end of primary and secondary school. More than 4,700 pupils started secondary school with a reading age of seven and more than 3,000 with a writing age of seven.

Pupils from deprived homes were almost twice as likely to fail at GCSE.

Yorkshire has the country’s lowest reading test scores sat by 11-year-olds; the lowest level of pupils achieving five good GCSEs, the lowest level of progress in English throughout secondary school and the highest proportion of children leaving primary school with the reading age of a seven-year-old.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said there was no reason for the region to regularly finish at the bottom of league tables.

He said schools could drive up standards by clamping down on truancy and poor behaviour.

“The Yorkshire region has been performing below the national average for a number of years,” he said.

“What we want to see is sustainable improvement, that is why we are pushing through our education reforms.”