Pupils in County Durham are outperforming the national average in primary school and sixth form after years of steady improvement thanks to targeted support.
Since 2014 the percentage of children achieving a “good level of development” in the Early Years has risen 15% to 72%, while Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils do better than their peers in reading, writing and maths.
At A-level County Durham continues to be above national averages for both academic and applied subjects and the numbers of teenagers achieving the higher grades in both types of course is increasing.
Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “We have seen very positive outcomes for Durham schools and their pupils, with results for a number of age groups ahead of the national average, and both boys and girls improving.
“We can also see that Durham’s schools perform exceptionally well in supporting the education of our most vulnerable children.”
Due to fundamental changes to how GCSEs and GCSE equivalent subjects are assessed the Department for Education has advised that results in 2017 are not comparable with results in previous years.
However, the percentage of pupils achieving A* to C in both English and Maths has fallen back towards 2015 levels, having seen some improvement last year.
Phil Hodgson, the authority’s head of education, said: “We have seen an underperformance at KS4 as schools faced the challenging task of adapting to a rapidly changed examination and assessment system.
“We have responded to this in a number of ways – implementing a strategic review in English, maths, science, modern foreign languages, geography and history; creating specific subject improvement plans; offering bespoke and targeted support for schools; working to improve school attendance; and improving our recruitment and retention of the best qualified teachers.”
A report into educational attainment and standards will go before the council’s cabinet on May 16.