East Budleigh school makes achievers’ list

DRAKES Church of England Primary School in East Budleigh is one of the highest achievers in the country for Sats results.

The school, in Middle Street, is placed in a list of 289 institutions where children achieved the government benchmark of level four for both English and maths in the national curriculum tests.

The controversial primary league tables, compiled using Government data, have been published – but with big holes caused by the boycott of Sats.

A number of schools that make up the Exmouth Area Learning Community Group, including Exeter Road, Lympstone and Marpool primary schools, all chose not to run the assessments.

The boycott was called by two teacher unions who both argue the tests are bad for children, teachers and education, cause unnecessary stress and lead to the creation of such league tables which undermine the work of schools and heads.

Electing to sit the tests, Drakes Church of England achieved a level of 29.8 per cent for its average points per pupil in English and maths.

Head teacher Karron Saunders said: “It is not being on the list that makes me proud, it is seeing how that group of children have taken on board their learning and responded to the curriculum that we offer them.

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“I think it the school’s in-house assessments and tracking procedures that is important to a child’s development. External assessments at the moment have a bit-part in that.”

Tony Priest, chairman of the Exmouth Area Learning Community Group, believes the assessments need to be reformed.

The group provides a strategic steer for collaborative education practice between schools in the area, which also covers Budleigh Salterton, East Budleigh and Woodbury.

Mr Priest said: “There are several schools which have a number of issues with the Sats.

“One of them has been that some have had their papers returned with pages not marked at all or with points incorrectly added up.”

Mr Priest added: “I would be surprised if they existed in their current form in a few years’ time.”