CONCERNS have been raised over a steep drop in standards in basic subjects in Flintshire schools.

Primary school pupils achieved worse results in last year’s English and maths assessments at Key Stage One – when most pupils are aged seven – than their counterparts in 2009.

Flintshire has dropped to 19th out 22 local authorities in Wales for its Key Stage One maths results and in English it is now placed 14th out of 22, compared to sixth in 2008.

Key Stage Two English results also

dropped although results at Key Stages Three, Four and Five had improved.
Councillors voiced their disappointment over Key Stage one progress at yesterday’s meeting of Flintshire Council’s lifelong learning and scrutiny committee meeting.

Treuddyn councillor Carolyn Thomas said: “The foundation phase is about laying the foundation bricks to a child’s education. We have to get this right.”

Mold councillor Carolyn Cattermoul called for the committee to be updated more regularly over the progress of Key Stage One pupils.

“I’m disappointed with all the resources that have gone in that we have ended up at this stage,” she said.

“English and maths are the core to future development of our children.”

Janice Dickens, primary officer at Flintshire Council, said she was “seriously concerned” about the results, but said some teachers might be under-assessing pupils.

She added: “We’ve got a lot of teachers who have been trained excellently on the National Curriculum but have now had increased freedom with planning and perhaps some of them haven’t coped as well with that.”

The report presented to the council listed areas officers had identified which could lead to improvement in results.

They included training of support staff and further developing assessment procedures.

Councillors are to write to headteachers thanking them for their work on improvements on Key Stages Three, Four and Five.