HL Deb 08 March 2005 vol 670 cc75-6WA
Lord Hanningfield

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they intend to take following the publication on 22 February of an Ofsted report into literacy and numeracy standards at key stage 2 which found that schools were struggling to implement the wider aims of the primary national strategy, and that one in three lessons in mathematics and literacy were still no better than satisfactory. [HL1487]

Lord Filkin

Ofsted's report into literacy and numeracy standards published on the 22 February found a great deal to celebrate in our primary schools. The report draws attention to the significant improvements in attainment since the introduction of the national literacy and numeracy strategies, and makes clear that last year the quality of teaching and school leadership continued to improve.

Her Majesty's Chief Inspector's annual report found that around three quarters of primary teaching in mathematics is excellent or good, which compares to just half in 1997–98. The support offered to teachers through the primary national strategy (formerly the national literacy and numeracy strategies) has been critical in enabling this transformation. Of course we remain absolutely committed to providing every teacher with the knowledge and skills to ensure that their teaching progresses from satisfactory to good and excellent. Next year the national strategies will offer training in core aspects of literacy and numeracy through local authorities to around 12,000 teachers in English and 15,000 teachers in mathematics.

We also remain committed to supporting schools to implement fully the primary national strategy. We are providing targeted and intensive support to around 850 lower performing schools across the country, and 10 per cent of our most successful headteachers are supporting a further 4,700 schools on leadership and raising standards. The improvements in the past year in standards to the highest ever levels show the success of our approach.