A week in

20th November 2015 at 00:00

Ofsted has continued to press for higher standards in primaries in areas that it regards as underperforming. Leeds and Sheffield have been warned about “inexcusable” standards in primaries in the latest batch of critical correspondence from the inspectorate.

A letter was sent to Leeds City Council after results showed that children in the city were performing below the national average in reading, writing, maths and science tests.

“However one compares outcomes for pupils’ attainment at key stages 1 and 2 in Leeds, its performance, whether against national or regional figures, is weak,” the letter states.

There was better news for a primary leader who resigned from his school two years ago after parents objected to him teaching children about homophobia. Andrew Moffat appeared in a “power list” of influential LGBT people this week. Now assistant head at Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham, he came 36th in the Independent on Sunday’s “Rainbow List” after receiving 80 public nominations and being praised for his free resource Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools.

At the Independent Schools Show, private school headteachers were trying to dissuade parents from hiring tutors for their primary-aged children.

Patrick Derham, headmaster of Westminster School in London, said an admissions interview revealed “in a nanosecond” if a child would thrive at his school and had “real spark”. “No matter how well coached they are, you can soon unpick the coaching and the tutoring,” he said.

Porridge was the order of the day as a new study revealed that primary pupils who eat breakfast are up to twice as likely to do well at school as those who do not. In particular, the research showed a strong link between a “healthy” breakfast – such as cereal, bread, dairy products or fruit – and doing well at school. The study of around 5,000 pupils was led by a team at Cardiff University and looked at performance in key stage 2 teacher assessments.

Irena Barker

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