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Bradford Council in bid to tackle education gap
Councillors concerned at the continuing gap between Bradford and the rest of the country have begun a detailed scrutiny of educational attainment in the district.
A report to Bradford Council’s children’s services overview and scrutiny committee tomorrow will be the first in a series to examine the educational landscape.
The committee decided to undertake the study after expressing concern at the lack of progress in “narrowing the gap” in certain areas following a report in July into teacher assessment, test and examination results.
Committee chairman Councillor Malcolm Sykes said the study would look into attainment in the city and whether there were barriers preventing Bradford from moving up the league tables.
He said: “Bradford is doing well at the minute. It’s improving its results year on year, but we don’t narrow the gap so that’s why the committee thought it would be useful, rather than just keep receiving those reports, to have a good look at why we don’t narrow the gap.”
The report says improvements in key stage four continued in all key measures in 2011, as Bradford improved its ranking of 127th out of 144 to 78th.
But the report says the slow rate of improvement in five A* to C GCSEs including English and maths continued to disappoint, meaning Bradford remained 144th in the country. Coun Sykes said: “We are making significant improvements year on year, but so is the rest of the country.
“I want to find out if somewhere in Bradford we are missing a trick. Is there something lacking in the way that we teach our kids or the teaching environment that still results in us being where we are in the league tables?”
Councillor Ralph Berry, executive member for children’s services, said: “We welcome the challenge, any new ideas and bringing more people to be involved in supporting children, families and raising educational attainment and working with schools.
“We have made some big steps in recent times, but we know there’s a lot more to do and this scrutiny exercise is an important part in that and we would encourage people to take part in it.”