Tougher Targets for Primary Schools
With government having raised its result targets, there are chances that hundreds of primary schools can be categorized as underperforming. According to David Laws education policy, the requirement of pupils doing well in math and English in these schools may be raised from 60% to 65% from next year. He is of the view that a student leaving primary school must be ready for secondary education. However, Russell Hobby, a leader of head teachers, has accused ministers in government to conveniently shift goal posts to suit their interests. It has been proposed that schools that do not perform in a satisfactory manner on a consistent basis be converted into state run academies. Another dissenting voice is that of Mary Bousted who feels that the proposed change will force many more schools to be taken over by state to be converted in to academies.
The proposed change of increased target will affect kids taking SAT next year during spring season. If we go by the results of last year alone, there would have been 866 schools falling short of the requirement of 65%. According to David Laws, many kids are leaving primary schools without having basic knowledge in the 3Rs. At present there are 476 schools lying below the minimum requirement of 60% and with increased targets, hundreds more would fall below the minimum requirement. But a spokesman from the Department of Education has said that targets being raised will improve the results also if past experience is anything to go by.
The national average of students was 79% in the expected levels in math and English in tests taken during spring last year. Level 4 is the expected level in SAT but the plans to do away with these levels by 2016-2017. Pupil premium will come under increased pressure. This is the grant given to schools to spend for the support of disadvantaged students. The schools that have not been able to close the gaps between rich and poor students as far as their excellence levels are concerned will have to come up with a plan to better utilize pupil premium.