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Rossendale primary school tops UK league table
A PRIMARY school is celebrating after topping a new UK league table.
St Mary’s Primary School in Haslingden was commended as an example to the area after the school came first in new tables produced by the Department for Education.
The ‘similar schools’ table ranks schools with pupils of similar ability and puts every primary into a group of 125 schools based on pupils’ previous performance.
The school came joint first with three other schools.
The school was ranked against other schools with 100 per cent of pupils achieving a level four or above in English and maths.
Headteacher of the Lime Road school Donna McNicoll received a letter praising their hard work from schools’ minister David Laws.
Mr Laws said he hoped the school would work with others in the area to promote excellence in education.
Miss McNicoll said the praise was more valued by staff than their last two ‘outstanding’ ratings from Ofsted.
She said: “It makes sense for these new league tables to compare similar schools. There’s no point comparing a tiny rural school to an inner city one.
“Finally, the educational system is realising this. Many of the schools in our group are southern schools, too, so we feel we are flying the flag for Lancashire by coming first.
“We are more proud of this result than our outstanding Ofsted ratings because we are first and we are competing with schools across the UK.”
In his letter to Miss McNicoll, Mr Laws said he was particularly impressed with the school’s success with the three Rs.
He said: “This is a fantastic achievement and you should be very proud.
“I congratulate your staff, governors and pupils for their hard work and I congratulate you for your leadership.
“I would also ask you to please try and think of ways in which you can work with other schools in your area so every child has the chance to go to a school as good as yours.”
When the new tables were announced for this year, Mr Laws said they would highlight those getting the most out of pupils while leaving coasting schools with ‘nowhere to hide’.
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