Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to today’s primary school league tables, said:
“We should congratulate our hard working young pupils on another set of results that shows overall primary school results have improved yet again, with 3 per cent more children getting the required levels of English and Maths compared with 2007. This is the ‘Sure Start Generation’ that benefited from Labour’s investment in early years.
“However, the real measure of a successful school is not raw test results but the progress that children make from all abilities. So while these are a fantastic set of results we need to do more to narrow the attainment gap between pupils from different backgrounds and who start from different levels.
“The fact that only a quarter of low attainers at age 7 go on to meet the expected Level 4 in English of Maths when they leave primary school is not good enough. The Government must use the Pupil Premium as a lever to improve literacy and numeracy at primary schools, by issuing guidance on how best to use the resources, and measuring the impact of the funding.
“The Government's cuts to children's centres, homework and breakfast clubs could make this gap even worse. And figures published by Labour this week reveal the Government’s actions have led to a near-halving in one-to-one reading support to help children who have fallen behind. We mustn’t let more children from the Sure Start generation fall behind.
“We need to learn from the 570 schools across England as to why all their pupils achieved the required levels and spread best practice to the 1,310 that have fallen below the floor standards. A range of interventions is needed, depending on the best available evidence. The Government should have to encourage collaboration between schools to raise standards for all, not just impose pet-project solutions from Whitehall.”