School figures among worst in the country

Missing Abid Shaif has been found
Missing Abid Shaif has been found

Shocking statistics have put Bedford borough’s primary schools among the worst performing in the entire country.

The newly released figures, which have even come as a surprise to council chiefs, report that just 73 per cent of children achieved level four in reading, writing and maths at Key Stage Two.

Bedford borough is ranked at the bottom of the table alongside Luton, Poole, Medway and Doncaster with Schools Minister Nick Gibb promising a crackdown on the failing schools, saying it is a matter of ‘social justice’.

He said: “I will be writing to the director of children’s services and directors of education of councils that are bottom of the league tables and asking that they meet me as a matter of urgency.”

But Bedford Borough Council has hit back at the minister’s comments and say the figures have been driven down because KS2 results at Robert Bruce Middle School were written off this year following an investigation into exam malpractice.

Councillor Henry Vann, who oversees education at Bedford Borough Council, said: “The only reason Bedford Borough appears in this list is because of the annulment of one school’s KS2 results this year due to concerning examination practices, which were identified and investigated by the council.

“When the annulled results were removed and the rightful results averaged out, it showed that Bedford Borough’s schools have improved faster than the national rate.

“Bedford borough remains top of the region and is fourth in the country for lower and primary school pupils according to Ofsted.

“We will continue to invest in our schools and look forward to working with them on the recently announced process of restructuring.”

SATs results were annulled at the Kempston school after it was alleged that a member of staff had looked at the exam papers before the examination took place. An investigation is now being carried out by the school’s governors.

The best performing primary schools are in the upmarket Kensington and Chelsea area.