Hundreds of secondary school starters in Hartlepool didn’t achieve SAT standard

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More than a third of children starting secondary school this year in Hartlepool finished primary education without meeting the Government standard.

According to the Department for Education, Key Stage 2 results for the 11-year-olds who took their SATs in May show that 34% did not achieve the required score in all their tests – 386 children in all.

That’s an attainment rate of 66% – which is higher than the national average of 64%.

This year, 1,134 Year 6 pupils took the tests, which are intended to measure how well a child is doing in three key subjects – reading, mathematics, and grammar.

Girls did slightly better than boys, with 70% of girls meeting the standard compared to 62% of boys.

During Year 6, students are also evaluated separately by their teachers in reading, writing, science and maths. These assessments provide a broader picture of how well children are doing at school.

Children in Hartlepool did much better in KS2 teacher assessments than in the tests.

They did best in reading, science and writing, where 82% of pupils met the required standard, and slightly worse in maths, where 81% of pupils made the grade.

Hartlepool Borough Council says pupils performed above the national average and that SATs are not the only way to prepare youngsters for secondary school.

A council spokesperson said: “We are pleased with the performance of our Year 6 children and these figures show that yet again Hartlepool schools are above the national average at the end of Key Stage 2. This is a real credit to the children, their parents and carers, and the staff in our schools.

“However, we are not complacent and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve teaching and learning to give children the best possible experiences, which will, in turn, improve their chances of success in the next stages of their education.

“A good example of this is the council’s Talk Matters programme which aims to improve children’s reading, writing and speaking. It was recently launched in all of our primary schools and in the coming year it will be extended to provide a support programme to parents and carers so that they can help their children at home.

“It is also important to remember that SATs are only a part – albeit an important one – of preparing children for secondary school. For example, our primary schools also do a great job in respect of some issues that SATs don’t measure, including ensuring that primary school pupils are able to make a smooth transition to secondary school and that they hit the ground running at the start of the new academic year.”