Islington’s primary schools get second thumbs-up in matter of weeks with best-ever test results

Primary schools in Islington are flying high once again after posting their best-ever results for tests in English and maths.

New Department for Education league tables based on Key Stage 2 (KS2) exams for 11-year-olds show that 80 per cent of Islington pupils achieved the benchmark of Level 4 or above in both subjects.

That constitutes a 6 per cent rise on the 2011 rate and is above the England average of 79 per cent for 2012.

The results cap a good year for Islington’s primaries, following hot on the heels of an Ofsted report that placed the borough sixth best in England for its percentage – 89 per cent – of primary pupils attending schools rated good or outstanding.

St Peter and St Paul in Compton Street, Finsbury, topped the KS2 rankings with 96 per cent of its pupils gaining Level 4 or better in English and maths.

Top marks also went to William Tyndale in Upper Street, Islington, with 95 per cent, up from 89 last year, while Pakeman in Hornsey Road, Holloway, achieved a massive 32 percentage-point rise, from 62 per cent in 2011 to 94 this year.

Pakeman headteacher Lynne Gavin said: “We’re really delighted. It’s fantastic and they really show we are going from strength to strength.

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“While we did very well in most areas last year, we were let down a little by reading, but this year we have done really well right across the board.

“We’re really pleased with all the hard work that staff and children have put in to achieve these results.”

Ms Gavin said much work had gone into boosting reading scores, including targeted one-to-one tuition, and she praised the work of 13 reading volunteers who have helped bring about the improvements.

Cllr Richard Watts, Islington Council’s executive member for children and families, said: “Islington’s primary schools are among the best in the country and parents can be confident that their children are receiving an excellent standard of education and care.”

The results were not universally positive, with one school, Robert Blair in Brewery Road, Holloway, falling below the government’s “floor standard” of 60 per cent attaining Level 4 in English and maths. The school’s score was 51 per cent, which means the government could seek to turn it into an academy.

However, Robert Blair is rated good by Ofsted and there has been no contact from the Department for Education.

Cllr Watts explained: “Robert Blair is a small school with a specialist unit for children with some special educational needs and so its results tend to vary from year to year.

“The school already has a plan of action in place which we’re supporting to improve results.”