The summer holidays are upon us and my fellow Councillors and I would like to thank all the teachers and staff who work in our local schools for their efforts over the school year. It is right to recognise this hard work, often in difficult circumstances, that means Crawley’s children are gaining the skills and knowledge they need for the future.
I am delighted to hear that in figures released last week by the government, that 9,006 more children in Crawley are now in schools rated good or outstanding, compared with 2010. There are now 15,801 Crawley children receiving a good or outstanding education, compared to just 6,795 in 2010.
Crawley’s figure contributed to the national 1.9 million more children who are attending a good or outstanding school. Critics might say it is because there are more children, and while that is correct, it is a fact that 85% of schools are now rated good or outstanding, up from 68% in 2010. I was particularly pleased to hear that Crawley’s new Forge Wood Primary School recently received an Outstanding rating in its first ever Ofsted report. I am told such a rating for a brand new school is exceptional, so special credit is due to everyone who has made this school what it is in such a short time.
Literacy levels have been rising since the introduction of the phonics screening check in 2012, when only 58% of 6-year olds reached the expected level in reading nationally, compared with 82% last year.
Curriculum reforms mean that more pupils are studying the core academic subjects they need to get on, and disadvantaged students are more likely to go to university than ever before. At the same time, reforms to apprenticeships mean that young people have quality vocational options as they await their GCSE and A-Level results.
This is all good news, but we hear a lot of school funding struggling to keep up with increased pupil numbers. I very much hope that the new government that takes shape this week, will give the funding boost that schools in southern England need.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
24th July 2019