State School beats Private Schools in UK League Tables

A state school has beaten private institutions to the top spot of UK league tables – outperforming them with an average score of 340.

St Stephen's School

"Why can't every child get the education I got, regardless of whether they can pay for it?"

A primary state school has landed the top spot of The Sunday Times‘ league tables, beating private institutions. It allegedly marks the first time for such an achievement!

Published on 19th November 2017, the tables show Year 6 pupils in East London’s St Stephen’s School outperformed others in reading, spelling and maths.

The newspaper determines their rankings through aggregated, average scores. This result comes from the marks achieved by 11-year-old children who took their SATs in 2016.

The Sunday Times found that St Stephen’s School had an average score of 340. If one breaks this down, the 60 pupils gained 111 for reading, 115 for grammar and 114 for maths. With these high marks, the school is deemed as the best in the UK.

Close behind it is the fee-paying Guildford High Junior School. It scored a mark of 339, yet could only take the No.2 spot.

This achievement is certainly impressive. But what makes it even more fascinating is that 96% of the students speak English as a second language. In fact, many of them hail from an Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi background.

The answer to their outstanding SAT results lies in their headteacher, Neena Lall. Inspired by her own private education, she mirrored the practices of these institutions at St Stephen’s School. This means that all students work a year above the National Curriculum.

She told The Sunday Times: “I thought – why can’t every child get the education I got, regardless of whether they can pay for it?”

Neena Lall with pupils

As a result, pupils above the age of 7 know their timetables up to 12, as well as reading ‘hard’ books such as the Alex Rider series.

St Stephen’s School also organises trips to the ballet, theatre and an overnight trip to the Science Museum. It even organises a week where pupils work on a farm, providing them with rewarding experiences.

On the school’s website, Neena Lall said: “This achievement is testament and tribute to our lovely children, the support of the parents, the dedication of a superb team of Governors and a highly effective and intelligent staff team.

“We want children to be excited about coming to school, engaged in their learning and able to articulate their views in a polite, respectful and harmonious way.”

DESIblitz wishes St Stephen’s School congratulations on the remarkable feat!

Sarah is an English and Creative Writing graduate who loves video games, books and looking after her mischievous cat Prince. Her motto follows House Lannister's "Hear Me Roar".

Images courtesy of St Stephen's School website.



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