Sunderland primary schools singled out for success

Steve Munby, Education Development Trust

Sunderland primary schools have been praised for their educational achievements on a national stage by a leading education charity.

Steve Munby (pictured above), chief executive of Education Development Trust, a charity working to improve schools and school systems around the world, singled out the success of Sunderland schools while speaking at the organisation’s annual Inspiring Leadership conference in Birmingham.

In his speech to more than 1,000 headteachers, governors and education industry experts Mr Munby said: “It is well known that schools in London seem to do a particularly impressive job, but what is less well known is that schools in some other places are doing equally well.

“In the Key Stage 2 test last year, for example, schools in Sunderland all outperformed the average for London schools.”

Key Stage 2 tests are taken by children at age 11, while in Year 6. In 2016, 61% of all Sunderland pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths in Key Stage 2, a result that puts Sunderland eight percentage points above the national average. 

Mr Munby went on to add that just over 80% of primary schools serving the most deprived communities in the UK are deemed ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ nationally by Ofsted, but in Sunderland almost 100% of schools attain these results.

The praise for Sunderland schools came as part of a keynote speech that focused on how schools can maintain ethical leadership in challenging times and highlighted the difficulties schools face in deprived areas.

Mr Munby added that success in areas such as Sunderland highlighted that despite financial challenges, the education sector has ‘continued grounds for optimism’.

Simon Marshall, director of education at Together for Children, which works on behalf of Sunderland City Council to deliver education services, said: “It’s fantastic for the hard work of our schools in Sunderland to be recognised on a national platform.

“Teaching staff across the city are committed to helping children and young people be the very best they can be. The success of our schools goes to show that, despite the challenges we face in our communities, our children are benefitting from a start to their education which should set them firmly on the path for success.”

Councillor Louise Farthing, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Sunderland City Council, added: “Our children and young people are the future of this city and I’m delighted that the hard work of the children themselves and their teachers and support staff has been recognised in such a way.”

The Education Development Trust charity works with governments and schools to bring about positive change in education around the world. To watch the video of Steve Munby’s speech, or to download any of Education Development Trust’s free to access education research, visit


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