Reading 'League' and School Standards

10th January 2018

I have often written about the vital and important topic of education funding in my columns. But today I want to highlight a fantastic achievement earned by teachers and pupils across the country which puts them in the top ten of the international reading league.

When we came into office in 2010 the Coalition Government realised that there was something wrong in the way our primary schools taught reading. The abilities of our pupils were falling down the league tables and England scored a historically low score, coming 19th out of 45 countries. The international data also showed a significant gap between top and bottom performers.

That’s why the then Government announced that all schools would be required to use phonics to teach children to read.

Since then, thanks to the hard work of teachers, staff and pupils, the reforms put in place have borne fruit.

Last November, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study found that England's average score has risen twice since 2010 and is now joint 8th in the world for reading standards. The proportion of pupils meeting the expected standard in phonics has risen from 58 per cent in 2012 to 81 per cent in 2017, with 92 per cent of pupils reaching this standard by age seven.

England’s international success is mirrored here at home; recently published statistics show that in Torridge & West Devon, 8,832 children are now attending schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ — an increase of 3,723 since 2010.

This is a positive trend replicated across the country as nearly 2 million more students attend schools rated good or outstanding, compared with 2010.

While I am proud that 88 per cent of schools in my constituency are achieving a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ rating by Ofsted, I want to see all our schools continue to make improvements so that our children get the skills they need to excel later in life.

There is still more to do to lift all our schools to higher standards but these figures are welcome recognition and confirmation that standards in schools across the country are rising thanks to the indefatigable efforts of our teachers and these reforms.

Surgery Dates

Geoffrey holds regular surgeries. To book an appointment please click here or call 01822 612925.

Saturday 14th September
Holsworthy, Tavistock

Saturday 28th September
Bideford, Torrington