West Sussex primary schools are poorest performing in the south east

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Primary schools in West Sussex are the lowest performing in the south east when it comes to children's basic education.

Primary schools in West Sussex are the lowest performing in the south east when it comes to children's basic education.

In Ofsted's Annual Report, which was published on Wednesday (December 13), only 55 per cent of West Sussex pupils reached the expected standards for reading, writing and maths.

The figure was the poorest out of the 19 education authorities that make up the south east, and fell short of the 61 per cent national average and a south east average of 62 per cent.

The county was also found to have one of the lowest proportions of primary schools rated 'outstanding' or 'good' by Ofsted.

As of August 31, 83 per cent of West Sussex primary schools had received the higher ratings, compared to a national average of 90 per cent and a south east average of 91 per cent.

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said improving primary provision was one of "highest priorities".

Figures in the The Education, Children’s Services and Skills Annual Report showed some improvements were already evident, with the Ofsted ratings 2 per cent higher than last year.

Things were much better at secondary level, with 82 per cent of schools rated 'goo' or 'outstanding' - a rise of 2 per cent - compared to a national average of 79 per cent and a south east average of 83 per cent.

The Progress 8 score - which measure the progress made by pupils from the end of Key Stage 2 to the end of Key Stage 4 - was higher than the national and south east averages.

The county's Attainment 8 score - which measures the average achievement of pupils in up to eight qualifications - was higher than the national average and slightly lower than the south east average.

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “Improving primary provision and outcomes remains one of the council’s highest priorities.

“We are committed to giving all our children and young people the best start in life. Attainment and progress at Key Stage 1 and 2, is not good enough. We are actively working with our schools to provide challenge and support to ensure that pupils’ outcomes are significantly improved.

“Indications show that this improvement is gathering pace. West Sussex Key Stage 2 results improved in 2017 by 10% on 2016 for achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics, closing the gap to the national average.

“This is one of the best improvements of a county council. By comparison, national results improved by 7% only.

“For 2017/18 West Sussex has in place a continuing comprehensive support programme for school improvement that focuses on English, mathematics and preparation for national assessment moderation.

“The School Improvement Strategy continues to provide a Link Adviser to support and challenge every school and academy and to provide additional challenge and support where there is the greatest need.”