Schoolchildren in County Durham are performing better than their national peers in a number of key education measures.
Statistics reveal that county pupils outperformed their counterparts across the country at Key Stages Two and Five last year, while the percentage of children making the expected progress between Key Stage one and two also topped the national average.
At Key Stage 2, which covers seven to eleven year olds, 82 percent of pupils achieved level four or above in reading, writing and mathematics, topping the national average of 80 percent.
And at Key Stage 5 – youngsters of sixth form age – 98.8 percent of students achieved two or more grades A* to E, above the national average of 98.3 percent.
County Durham students’ average points score was also above the national average as was average points per entry.
The percentage of children making the expected progress between Key Stage one and two also exceeded the national average: 93 in reading compared to the national average of 91, 95 in writing compared to the national figure of 94 and 92 in mathematics, compared to the national figure of 90.
Meanwhile, at Early Years Foundation Stage – children under the age of five, 64 percent of youngsters in County Durham reached at least the expected standard, an improvement on 2014’s figure which was 57 percent.
At Key Stage 4 – GCSE years, there was a slight dip with county results below the national average for the first time since 2007, reflecting the number of challenges faced by secondary schools as they come to terms with new national examinations.
However, measures have been swiftly put in place to ensure improved performance at those schools which fell below the national average, with letters sent to each site requesting an outline of actions to be taken and training offered.
Cllr Ossie Johnson, Durham County Council’s portfolio holder for children and young people’s services, said: “Students in County Durham continue to compare favourably with the national picture in terms of test and exam results at Early Years, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 5.
“A slight dip in results at Key Stage 4 is being addressed by direct and robust intervention.
“Overall, standards remain high and continue to improve across the majority of Durham schools, and thorough plans are in place to maintain high standards.”