EDUCATION attainment across Barnsley’s schools was praised at a council meeting after a report showed they were performing above the national average.

Barnsley ranks higher than Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield for attainment in GCSE maths and English.

Rachel Dickinson, executive director for children’s services, said that that the outcome was ‘something to celebrate’, with the results also finding that boys in key stage two were outperforming their peers nationally in maths for the first time.

Barnsley has 41 schools run by the local authority and 50 academies. In 2010, the borough ranked 148 out of 150, but last year Barnsley ranked 112 out of 150 in England. The town has ten secondary schools - eight of which are performing ‘well above’ the national average.

Nick Bowen, executive principal of Horizon Community College, told councillors that the Barnsley Schools Alliance’s partnership approach and monthly meetings with headteachers across the borough had contributed to the positive outcome.

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“Barnsley’s gone from the bottom to half way up the table,” he said. “Some academies took on schools when they were at rock bottom but the progress has been exceptional. Academisation has been a huge success for Barnsley and the alliance allows everyone involved to share best practice.”