Schools preparing pupils well for secondary education

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Willow Brook primary school has missed its government numeracy and literacy target despite being an academy for more than a year Willow Brook primary school has missed its government numeracy and literacy target despite being an academy for more than a year

The vast majority of primary schools in Waltham Forest have met a tougher new government numeracy and literacy target.

Figures released by the Department of Education show all but two schools in the borough are reaching the required level.

The government has raised the floor level target for reading, writing and mathematics tests taken before starting secondary school, with 60 per cent of pupils required to reach level 4, combined with measures on progress.

Only Willow Brook and Dawlish primary schools, both in Leyton, fell well below the target with 40 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.

The government has said the figures show the policy of turning failing schools into academies – and out of local authority control - is working.

A Department of Education spokesman said: “Schools with a long history of under-performance, and who are not stepping up to the mark, will be taken over by an academy sponsor.

“The expertise and strong leadership provided by sponsors is the best way to turn around weak schools and give pupils the best chance of a first-class education.”

However Willow Brook, where only a third of pupils reach required levels, has been an academy for more than a year while Dawlish received a 'good' rating by Ofsted in February 2012.

Jonathan White is a member of the group Our Community, Our Schools, which campaigns to keep education under local authority control.

He said government policy wrongfully assumes community schools cannot raise standards.

“A lot of the arguments for free and academy schools are based on a disaster narrative that there is something wrong with Waltham Forest schools and community schools in general," he said.

"These results show that these schools are improving without the need for ideological experiments with free schools or academies.”

Two high achieving schools were St Mary's Catholic Primary School and Chingford Hall Primary School, both in Chingford. 

Jenny Hammond School in Leytonstone, with 77 per cent of pupils achieving the target, and Coppermill School in Walthamstow, with 80 per cent, were also high achieving.

A total of 58 of the borough's schools were included in the figures, 11 of which are academies.

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