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25 February 2011, 16:36 | Updated: 8 March 2011, 10:11
A recent ‘Education Performance Report’, updating previous provisional figures as reported within Department of Education (DfE) performance tables, indicates improvement across many educational aspects for Bedford Borough schools covering the 2009/10 academic year.
The Mayor, Dave Hodgson, said: "Our final results for 2009/10 show that schools across the Borough show some improvement in key areas, although there is still a lot of room for further progress. The Council's overriding objective is to ensure that the best possible education is provided for every pupil in Bedford Borough, and I am determined to continue to work with schools and governing bodies to drive up standards and improve young people's lives as a result."
The Early Years Foundation Stage (at the end of the reception year) performance has improved. The percentage of children achieving good level of overall achievement has increased from 46.7% to 54.0% (over 7% improvement). This is now just below the national average of 56% and below the *statistical neighbours average of 60%. Narrowing the gap between the lowest achieving 20% in the Early Years Foundation Stage, has improved from 35.9% to 31.7%. (The gap has narrowed by 4%) and as a result this is better than the national average of 32.7% and just below the statistical neighbour average of 30.5%.
Performance at Key Stage 1 (7 years of age) is above the national average and in line with the statistical neighbours’ average. In 2010, 87% of Bedford Borough children achieved level 2 and above in reading compared with a national average of 85% and a statistical neighbour average of 87%, this was in line with 2009 performance. For Mathematics, the equivalent figure was 91% compared with 89% nationally and 91% among statistical neighbours.
At the end of Key Stage 2 (11 years of age), the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 in both English and Mathematics in 2010 was 70% which was an improvement from 2009 of 3% however, this result is both below the national average of 73% and the average for statistical neighbours of 74.6%.
At the end of Key Stage 4, in 2010 the percentage of pupils obtaining five or more A*-C grades in Bedford Borough was 75.6% which is below the national average of 76.3 and below the statistical neighbour average of 78.4. The percentage of pupils in Bedford Borough achieving five or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Mathematics was 50.8%, an increase of almost 3%, but is below the national average of 53.4% and the statistical neighbour average of 59.3%. These improving GCSE results represent a 24% improvement in the students achieving five or more A*-C grades since 2008.
Cllr David Sawyer, portfolio holder for Children’s Services, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “This is a positive report showing year on year improvement for our schools. Although this report shows an improvement, we will not be complacent and will strive to ensure that school standards are raised across the Borough, working closely with Head teachers and governing bodies in the process. We are very serious about our objective to drive up standards and improve young people’s lives as a result. Together we will work to ensure ongoing plans achieve the desired results.”