Bedford lower schools among best in the UK

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State primary schools in Bedford are top of the class - even better than those in posh Westminster and Harrow.

But the town’s state secondary schools are more middle-ranking, coming 58th out of 155 schools nationally.

The Ofsted annual performance tables were published this month by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills.

They show Bedford primaries to be 11th best in the entire country, only outranked by affluent areas such as Kingston-upon-Thames and Camden.

Around 97 per cent of Bedford youngsters were in schools judged by Ofsted to be Good Or Outstanding. Almost a quarter of the pupils were at academies.

The tables showed the vast majority - 88 per cent - of secondary pupils now attended academies.

Overall 87 per cent of older pupils were in schools rated as Good or Outstanding.

This put them 21 places below Luton.

Councillor Henry Vann, portfolio holder for schools, said the anomaly between primary and secondary schools proved the need for the two-tier education system to eliminate middle schools for years 5 to 8.

Because much of Bedford still has the unique three-tier system, the chief inspector’s report places middle schools in with secondary schools.

And this could lead to confusing or conflicting results, said Mr Vann.

But he hailed the chief inspector’s rankings as “excellent news”.

He said: “The council works with all schools of all types, supporting academies as well as maintained schools.

“We are pleased with these results which recognise the hard work of governors, head teachers, teachers, pupils, and school communities.”

By the end of this year Bedford Borough Council will have invested £48million in its school building programme.

Mr Vann said: “We are beginning to see some excellent results and I would like to congratulate everyone involved.”

But certain Bedford pre-school youngsters are NOT faring so well.

In terms of rankings, Bedford Borough is ranked 2nd in the region and 11th nationally for primary pupils.

For secondary pupils, Bedford Borough is ranked 7th in the region and 63rd nationally as of October 2016.