STANDARDS in Kirklees schools have risen since national tests began, it was said today.

But the latest figures show the district is still below the national average.

Pupils and teachers who had worked hard to get their results were congratulated by a council education chief.

The "thank you" came as the latest official statistics were released by the Department for Education and Skills.

Clr John Smithson, Kirklees Cabinet member responsible for education, said: "Standards in Kirklees schools have risen considerably since the introduction of these tests.

"In the end of key stage 2 tests, for instance, over 800 more pupils in Kirklees achieved national expectations in maths this year and 1,000 more in English than was the case as recently as 1997."

Test results for 14-year-olds in Kirklees were: English 66% (nationally 68%), reading 65% (68%), writing 64% (65%), maths 66% (70%) and science 64% (68%).

Clr Smithson said: "Today's results reflect the raised standards we have seen, locally and nationally, over the last two years.

"These results are a tribute to the teachers' and the pupils' hard work and the support of many parents."

School standards minister David Miliband said there would be no new schemes imposed on schools.


English 72% - National average 75%

Maths 70% - National average 73%

Reading 78% - National average 81%

Writing 59% - National average 60%

Science 85% - National average 87%