Heroic Sheffield narrowing gap;Letter
But, far from "falling further behind", Sheffield is tracking the movement in national key stage 2 literacy averages pretty closely and just beginning to narrow it. Over the period 1996-8 the level 4-plus per cent scores look like this: Sheffield 49-54-57, national: 58-63-65. The points gap over that time is just beginning to narrow: 9-9-8.
We have set ourselves the target of 80 per cent by 2002. That's a tall order, but we're going for it. You and your readers know how tough it is to raise expectations and standards in hard-pressed areas.
Those heads, teachers and support staff who are shouldering that burden - and having an impact - aren't weak. Quite the reverse. There are some heroic efforts going in to reaching these targets, coupled with real dedication and skill. This hardly suggests the targets are "elusive".
I could say Sheffield is regarded as a leading LEA in a number of areas including numeracy, which you featured in an article in the same edition!
Jonathan Crossley-Holland Executive director education Sheffield City Council