MORE than three out of four primary schools in Basildon are now good or better – a year after an improvement drive was launched.

The proportion of Basildon primary schools judged “good” or “outstanding”

by education watchdog Ofsted is up by a third a year after the Basildon Excellence Panel was created.

Lincewood Primary School, in Langdon Hills, and Kingswood Junior School, in Basildon, have both improved from a rating of “requires improvement” to “good” over the past few months.

A year ago just over half of Basildon primaries achieved one of Ofsted’s top two ratings, but now 76 per cent make the grade.

Sir Mike Tomlinson, chairman of the Basildon Excellence Panel, said: “I very much welcome the improvement being shown by Basildon schools.

“This is down to the hard work of the headteachers, school staff and governors, and all of those who support the schools.

“I believe this improvement will continue over this current year and beyond.

“I look forward to seeing much improved Key Stage 2 results this summer.”

The results now match the Essex average for the percentage of pupils achieving a good level of development at early years foundation stage, which is 61 per cent.

The borough also exceeds the Essex average for Key Stage 1 to 2 progress in writing, with 93 per cent compared to 92 per cent achieving “expected progress” and 33 per cent compared to 31 per cent achieving more than “expected progress”.

Absence rates also continue to reduce, including unauthorised absences.

The panel was created by Essex County Council, Basildon Council and Basildon Education Schools Trust to improve school performance in Basildon.

The panel works collectively with schools, governors and employers to build on improvements already made and raise aspirations, expectations and outcomes for all children in Basildon.

Phil Turner, leader of Basildon Council, said: “I am delighted to see the efforts of the panel are being rewarded.

“Ofsted grades are up as well as pupil achievement and although it is still early days, evidence we are seeing suggests there is an upward trajectory developing across borough schools.”

Ray Gooding, county councillor responsible for education, said: “Two years ago educational outcomes for children in Basildon were significantly below those of all children and young people in Essex.

“I am delighted by the improvements that have been made and which have been recognised by Ofsted.

“We will continue to provide support to ensure that all Basildon children can succeed in everything they want to achieve.”