Derbyshire was identified as a ‘cold spot’ for educational attainment earlier this year in the aftermath of the Government’s Levelling Up white paper, with only 64 per cent of pupils achieving the required standard in Key Stage Two reading, writing and maths, according to the most recent data available from 2019.
It was listed among 55 areas across the country where education outcomes are the weakest, falling behind the national average of 65 per cent.
Now, the Government has set out proposed reforms to address inequalities in the education system in a new ‘Opportunity for all Strong schools with great teachers for your child’ paper.
Among the points announced were the following key targets:
- All schools become academies by 2030
- 90 per cent of pupils reach the expected levels for Key Stage Two reading, writing and maths by 2030
- £30,000 starting salaries for trainee teachers
- 500,000 teacher training and development opportunities by 2024
Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Councillor Alex Dale has broadly welcomed the proposals on the table, but questioned how they would be implemented.
He said: “I think there are some good ideas, things around improved training for teachers, focus on evidence-based approaches that work, efforts to improve recruitment and retention of teachers, which is something that we struggle with in the East Midlands in particular.”
Although some may be classed as underperforming in the latest available data, it may no longer reflect a school’s current performance.
No primary test or exam data has been published for 2020 or 2021 due to Covid-19.
It is noted that some schools have changed names or joined multi-academy trusts since the data was last published – such as Whitecotes Primary School which closed in December 2020 and became Walton Peak Flying High Academy after joining The Flying High Trust.