Exam results for primary school children in West Sussex improve for second straight year

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for education and skills SUS-181005-163815001
Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for education and skills SUS-181005-163815001

Exam results in West Sussex’s primary schools have improved for the second year in a row and have narrowed the gap on the national average.

Provisional Key Stage 2 SAT figures show 61.3 per cent of the county’s 11-year-olds met or exceeded the expected standard in the combined three areas: reading, writing and maths.

This is up from 55 per cent in 2017, but is just below the national average of 64 per cent.

For reading West Sussex pupils results’ were above the national average, but were below for writing and maths.

Meanwhile at Key Stage 1, 62 per cent of children met or exceeded the standard in reading, wrtiting and maths, up from 56 per cent in 2017 but still below the 2018 national average of 65 per cent.

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “This year’s results at both Key Stage 1 and 2 are extremely encouraging and it is down to the tremendous hard work of the students taking their exams as well as their teachers.

“The improvement at KS2 in all three subjects is especially pleasing. In fact West Sussex is improving at a faster rate when compared with the national average.

“Over the past two years there has been a big focus on raising standards in writing and mathematics specifically, and the figures reflect all of the hard work that has been carried out.

“These results are really encouraging, but we are not complacent, and everyone is committed to driving even higher standards in the future.”

In reading, 76 per cent of West Sussex students met or exceeded KS2 standards, just above the national average of 75 per cent and up from 71 per cent last year.

The number meeting or exceeding the standards for writing was 75 per cent, a six per cent rise from 69 per cent in 2017. The national average in 2018 was 78 per cent.

Meanwhile for maths it was 73 per cent, up from 71 per cent last year, but compared to a 2018 national average of 76 per cent.

Grammar, punctuation and spelling are also tested, and 75 per cent of West Sussex students met or surpassed the requirement, up from 74 per cent last year and close to the national average of 77 per cent.

On the national results, school standards minister Nick Gibb said: “A good primary education lays the foundations for success at secondary school and beyond. That’s why we introduced a more rigorous, knowledge-rich primary school curriculum – with an emphasis on reading and fluency in arithmetic – to ensure every child is helped to reach their potential from the moment they start school.

“Today’s results and the rising standards we are seeing in our primary schools are the fruit of our reforms and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of teachers across the country. These reforms promise even more success in the years to come and will help to improve education for every child, no matter their background.”