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Are Birmingham pupils being held back by social deprivation and the lack of English as a first language? “Yes,” says a leading city education official - but one Stirrer reader disagrees, and they’ve got the figures to prove it.

In a recent newspaper article the Council’s Head of School Effectivness Jackie Hughes defended the fact that Brum’s primary schools were performing below the national average.

She said that Birmingham has one of the worst records for social deprivation for children in any English city, and added, “These judgments need to be considered within the context that Birmingham pupils live and the impact of English as an additional language on pupil progress.”

One concerned parent contacted us to challenge that view, and has used official statistics to prove the point.

Rankings based on five GCSE passes including English and Maths for the last 6 years (2004-2009) show that some inner city schools and schools in deprived areas are actually achieving results in line with and significantly above the national average of a 50% pass rate.

Then there’s to Report to the Children and Education Overview and Scrutiny Committee, dated 27th January 2010 on Ofsted Reports on Birmingham Schools Inspected September 2008 to July 2009 and reprinted below.

It shows that some of the schools that received outstanding OFSTED reports are actually located in deprived areas and/or cater for pupils from areas of high socio-economic disadvantage (these are marked in red).

It suggests that some head teachers overcome the disadvantages of poverty and language rather than better than others; and the some use it as an excuse for failure.

List of schools judged by OFSTED to be outstanding Sept 2008-July 2009

1. Brearley Children’s Centre
2. Castle Vale Nursery Children’s Centre
3. Goodway Nursery Children’s Centre
4. Kings Norton Nursery School
5. Lillian de Lissa Nursery Children’s Centre
6. Washwood Heath Nursery School

1. Bournville Infant School
2. Clifton Primary School
3. Hall Green Infant School
4. Heathfield JI School
5. Maney Hill Primary School
6. Nelson Mandela JI School
7. Robin Hood JI School
8. Sladefield Infant School
9. SS. John and Monica Catholic Primary School
10. St. Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School
11. St. Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School
12. St. James Catholic Primary School
13. St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School
14. St. Nicholas Catholic Primary School
15. The Oval Primary School
16. Water Mill Primary School

1. Arthur Terry Secondary School
2. Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School
3. Bordesley Green Girls’ Secondary School
4. Hillcrest Secondary School
5. Holte Secondary School
6. King Edward VI Camp Hill Boys’ School
7. King Edward VI Five Ways School
8. Ninestiles Secondary School
9. Selly Park Secondary Girls’ School
10. The Heartlands High Secondary School



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