MK primary school pupils overcome learning barriers to improve standards in key subjects

Wednesday 27 December 2017


Milton Keynes primary school pupils have overcome barriers to learning to improve their standards in reading, writing and maths, according to new figures released (2017 data).

The latest statistics show children from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds, those with designated Special Educational Needs, and children who don’t speak English as a first language (EAL) are all meeting acceptable standards in these subject areas. This compares favourably with regional and national data.

  • Children from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds: 54% met required standards in the three key areas, compared with 48% nationally and 44% in the South East.
  • Children with Special Educational Needs: the gap was narrower, with 23% meeting the standards compared to 21% nationally and 19% in the South East.
  • Young people whose first language isn’t English (EAL): achieved 65% compared to the national average of 61% and South East average of 63%.

Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member responsible for Children and Families, said: “These figures are very encouraging and while it shows there is still work to be done, we are heading in the right direction.”

MKC is running a number of initiatives to boost education standards for pupils from these specific backgrounds, including:

  • A focus on ‘closing the attainment gap’ between children from ‘Disadvantaged’ backgrounds and ‘Non-Disadvantaged’ backgrounds.
  • Identifying barriers for SEN pupils and developing strategies to overcome them.
  • Utilise the skills of the Ethnic Minority Achievement team (EMA) to support schools as they settle students from overseas, ensuring students and their families feel part of the school community.  By developing good relationships and creating opportunities for shared cultural experiences within and beyond the school, students are better engaged which can raise their educational achievements. Further work on community cohesion was recently recognised with a £700k government grant. For further information go to: