School performance of six and seven year olds in Hackney best in country
The school performance of six and seven year olds in Hackney is better than in any other area in the country, according to results published by the Department for Education this month.
Hackney was ranked first in three of six measures relating to reading, writing and maths - and no lower than fourth in the other three - out of 150 local authorities in standards for year 2 pupils.
I want to congratulate school staff and pupils across Hackney for this incredible achievement. Hackney has some of the very best schools in the country, and these results show that our ambitions and aspirations for our children start at the very earliest stages of their education.
Hackney Education’s tagline – ‘Working for Every Child’ – is one that is lived and breathed by the service. We believe in every child; we champion every child; we’re ambitious for every child. There were fears of a ‘lost generation’ of children following the disruption to education caused by the pandemic. While challenges remain, our young people are not a lost generation here in Hackney.
There are 58 diverse primary schools in Hackney - the vast majority of these are maintained, which means they are funded and shaped by the Council.
The Council plays important roles in schools, including admissions and exclusions; it runs services for Special Educational Needs; supports careers services; and operates a strong improvement service.
The Council also provides support in areas like wellbeing and health of local children; provides overarching support in a way settings and schools are not empowered or mandated to do in isolation; and holds a boroughwide perspective enabling it to work with schools on important themes, for example improving exclusion rates.
However, the government is pursuing a forced academisation agenda for schools, in which they are made to become academies overseen by independent sponsors or trusts - and accountable only to the government.
We stand firmly against forced academisation. We have seen time and time again academies in other parts of the country going through multiple changes in sponsors, enduring repeated changes in ethos and outlook, leading to a turnover of staff and a rise in exclusions and off-rolling. There is no stability, and ultimately - that in pursuing this outdated ideology - it is pupils, parents, communities and staff who lose out.
At Hackney, we believe the best outcomes for children are delivered through a close collaboration between the Council and schools in a mixed system of academies, maintained, faith and free schools. These local results make it clear: the power to drive improvement and to maintain standards, ambition and inclusion, lies at local authority level, where, like Hackney, there is competency and will. We must continue to be given government support, funding and powers to do so.
The Council has maintained a focus on constant investment in the borough’s schools, with new spaces to learn and play, alongside first-class facilities to inspire both students and teachers. Over the past 20 years, it has:
- Built or refurbished 11 academies - the latest opened last year
- Rebuilt or refurbished five Council maintained secondary schools
- Rebuilt five Council maintained primary schools
- Expanded or refurbished 10 Council maintained primary schools
- Built three special schools
- Built four new youth centres.