The Muslim News has - as it has done since league tables began to be published - exclusively compiled the Key Stage 2 Level 4 and above (KS2L4+) exam results of 34 Muslim schools, and once again, their results continue to surpass the national average.
85 per cent of 11 year olds who sat the exam in Muslim schools attained KS2L4+, three percent higher than the national average. The combined result of the Muslim schools surpasses the national average in English (6 per cent higher), Maths (13 per cent higher) and Science (4 per cent higher).
The number of children sitting the exam in Muslim schools also continues its annual rise with 726 children taking the tests, 134 more than 2006, and 239 more than 2005. The exams were sat in 25 coeducation schools, four girls' schools and three boys' schools.
Of the 34 Muslim schools featured in The Muslim News table (30 of which are independent - three are voluntary aided and one is comprehensive), 27 schools have a KS2L4+ result higher than their local education authority, and 24 schools (71 per cent) beat the national average of 82 per cent, with 4 of the 23 schools having 100% results.
Imam Muhammad Zakariya School in Preston, Lancashire, is amongst the 23 schools to hit the 100 per cent mark. The co-ed school is the only Muslim institution to offer SATs exams in Lancashire. A spokesman for the school told The Muslim News, "Once again our school has achieved good SATs results…it is pleasing to see the steady progress we are making. Insha Allah (God Willing) we will always strive to improve the quality of the Islamic and secular education we provide and build upon our success."
Eight schools had equalled their 2006 results or had no previous data to compare; 9 surpassed their 2006 results, the most improved of which being Lambeth based Iqra Independent School, with an amazing 49 per cent improvement on its 2006 results of 40 per cent.
However, seventeen schools had lower results than in 2006, which meant the result is 1 per cent lower than last year's. One school which saw a decline in results is Tawhid Boys' School. The Hackney schools' result of 60 per cent of students reaching KS2L4+ is lower than the 2006 results, which saw 91 per cent of the students reach KS2L4+.
Explaining the comparative discrepancy in the figures, the school Head Teacher, Usman Mapara, pointed to a change in the intake of pupils from a diverse background.
Stressing the school's non-selective and non-entry exam status, Mapara said his school, which annually excels in its GCSE results, faces a "new challenge" but has adopted "strategies of working with parents and members of the community to provide good positive role models for pupils to follow…sometimes there is a big difference in the levels quoted from the primary schools and our assessments once the child starts. We do provide almost 3 days of additional SEN support for numeracy and literacy," he told The Muslim News.
He also called for a smoother transition between Tawhid's primary and secondary schools; he pointed out that as the school starts at year 6 this means that, unlike many other primary schools, staff only have pupils for two terms before the SATs are taken.
Avid readers of The Muslim News would have noticed the absence of The Avenue School in North West London from the table. The school was forced to vacate the premises after its lease to the site expired last year. On October 6, Brent Council declared that, "Despite the best efforts of the Local Authority, the school and parents, no alternative site has been found." And so in 2007, the school merged with neighbouring Kilburn-based school, Islamia Primary School. The merger meant an expansion in Islamia's status from a one form entry (1FE) school to 2FE, resulting in two classes in each year group.
Three schools have confirmed sitting the exams but declined to forward their results. Data for Kirklees-based Madni Muslim Girls' School was unavailable. Al Noor Muslim Primary school in Ilford, Essex did not sit the exams but expects to do so this year. Al Aqsa Primary School in Leicester also declined to forward their results.
There are approximately 62 Muslim primary schools in the UK.
Source: Muslim News (English)