Schools: Nottingham

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 12th July 2017.

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Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Labour, Nottingham South 11:00 am, 12th July 2017

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered support for Nottingham schools.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gray. Today’s motion is very deliberate; I want to talk about the support that Nottingham schools need, not just the funding they receive. Too often Ministers have talked our city down. We must be frank about the challenges we face in raising educational attainment, especially at key stage 4, but we must also recognise progress, innovation and success. Failing to do so is demoralising and counterproductive.

I hope the Minister will welcome the fact that 83% of children in Nottingham are now taught in good and outstanding schools, up from 61% just three years ago. Some 22% of our schools are now rated outstanding—that is the second highest local authority level in the east midlands, and above the national average. I hope he will also welcome the improvement in key stage 2 results. The progress made by children in Nottingham’s primary schools last year matched the national average in reading and outstripped national averages in writing and maths. Children come to those primaries with low levels of school readiness and low speech and communication levels. Many require additional language support and pupil mobility is very high.

Nottingham is rightly proud of its “Maths Mastery” programme, developed in collaboration with the two regional maths hubs. Drawing on learning from Singapore and other leading international practice, Nottingham is developing a maths teaching culture that is already delivering enhanced outcomes, with the approach now being rolled out from the early years through to KS4.

The city’s five special schools are all rated good or outstanding, and Oak Field School is recognised internationally as a model of excellence in working with children and young people with profound and multiple disabilities. We also have an outstanding hospital school at the Queen’s Medical Centre.

More than 8,000 Nottingham children are learning a musical instrument in school, up an incredible 1,652% in the past 12 years. In 78% of Nottingham primary schools, every child is learning an instrument, compared with a figure of 58% nationally. Some 48% of pupils continue with instrumental teaching after the first year, compared with 27% nationally. There has been a 385% increase in the numbers of pupils gaining a nationally recognised music qualification in the past three years alone.