A “failing” school which the Government wants to turn into an academy has reported record test results.
Whitehawk Primary School in Whitehawk Road, Brighton, is currently in special measures after national inspectors said it was not providing satisfactory education to children.
Under pressure to improve, the school has told The Argus its results in this year’s Key Stage Two Sats exams taken by ten and 11-year-olds are the best ever.
Despite this, bosses still say it is to become the city’s first primary academy school, which frees it from local authority control.
Headteacher Daniel Weiner, who will leave the school in August to take up an adviser role with Brighton and Hove City Council, said:
“These are massive improvements by any standards.
“They are a testimony to the hard work of all the children and staff, and we’re delighted at the outstanding progress our Year 6 children have made.”
The number of pupils reaching the Government’s expected standard of Level Four, and above, in both English and maths is up by 29.2% on the previous year.
This puts it above the current minimum standards set by Whitehall last year.
Separated out, 83.3% of pupils have reached level 4 and above in English – an improvement of more than 25% on the previous year.
In maths 66.7% of pupils have reached level 4 and above – up nearly 22%.
However, the Department for Education (DfE) said these results had not been validated and would not be known until autumn.
Mr Weiner said: “We never thought we were a failing school and we have always recognised it is a journey we are on. There’s no end to that.
“It’s clearly Government policy to turn as many schools as possible into academies. I think the game is up and it’s already a signed deal to turn it into an academy.
"However in terms of Ofsted it’s really a benchmark to them to take the school out of special measures.”
Ward councillor Warren Morgan, who is also a governor at the school, said: “This is a fantastic set of results which shows the
incredible progress in what is a rapidly improving school.”
A council spokesman said city-wide results are not expected to be tallied and made available until the end of this month.
A DfE spokeswoman said there had been “real concern over a number of years” of the results of Whitehawk Primary school.
She added: “We will consider the 2012 results, but it is vital that any improvements can be maintained and built upon. We believe that the best way to ensure long term improvement is through
Academy status led by a strong sponsor.
“The department is continuing to discuss with the local authority and the school the best way to provide sustainable improvement.”