Borough schools achieve well above UK average

Staff and governors at Nicol Mere Primary School
Staff and governors at Nicol Mere Primary School

Wigan primary school children are performing above the national average in three core subjects, staying one step ahead of the rising standards and excelling despite a more “rigorous” curriculum.

Across the borough, 66 per cent of schools are meeting the expected standards compared to 61 per cent of schools across the UK.

Figures released by the Department for Education (DfE) have revealed the best and worst performing schools following this year’s Sats (national curriculum tests) taken in May by Year Six students.

Nicol Mere Primary School in Ashton, has been revealed as the borough’s top primary school for meeting expected standards in reading, writing and maths as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation, with 98 per cent of all students attaining the expected levels, and more than a third (38 per cent) reaching a higher standard.

The school is joined by St Catherine’s Catholic Primary in Lowton, St James’s Catholic Primary School in Orrell and Lowton Junior and Infant School, each with more than 90 per cent of its students meeting the expected standards. The school is also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Alan Lindsay, Wigan Council’s assistant director for education, said “It is fantastic to see our pupils once again performing so well at the end of key stage two over and above the national average.

“This is testament to the dedication and hard work of all of our staff, parents and especially the pupils across our schools.

“At Wigan Council we will continue to work hard to ensure that every child in the borough is given the best possible start to life.”

The data also showed that 31 schools across the borough have failed to meet the national average of 61 per cent of pupils reaching the expected standards.

On average children in Wigan borough have made more progress in reading, writing and in maths from the end of key stage 1 to the end of key stage 2, when compared to their peers nationally.

The percentage of children achieving the higher standard in the borough is also higher than the national average with 10 per cent of Wigan children compared with 9 per cent nationally.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “Teachers and pupils have responded well to the new more rigorous curriculum introduced by this Government and these pupils were the first to benefit from the new approach to phonics.

“There are now 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, with nine out of 10 primary schools given this rating at their last inspection - and our recent rise up the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls) rankings puts the success of our reforms and the hard work of teachers on a global scale. This means that pupils are now leaving primary school better prepared for the rigours of secondary school and for future success in their education.”

The number of schools considered to be under-performing has also dropped, the figures show.

Schools are considered to be under-performing if fewer than 65 per cent of pupils reach the expected standard in reading, writing and Best teachers should be in reception maths.