TWO schools in St Helens have featured in The Times' list of the top 500 primary schools in England.

Parents across the country found out which school their child was accepted into this week, with more than 98 percent of pupils successful in securing one of their preferred primary schools in St Helens this September.   

Choosing the right school and waiting for acceptance is often an anxious time for parents, and The Times has ranked the country's top-performing 500 primary schools from the results and expected grades of pupils' SATS in 2023.

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St Helens Star: St Thomas of Canterbury made the Times list in 2022St Thomas of Canterbury made the Times list in 2022 (Image: St Thomas of Canterbury)
In St Helens borough, St Thomas of Canterbury in Dentons Green and Billinge Chapel End were the schools that made the top 500 list.

With more than 16,000 primary schools in England, more than two-thirds of the top performing institutions were in the south of the country, and the St Helens schools were both new entries for 2024.

The Times explains that schools are ranked from an average score of 100, which represents the expected standard children should achieve by the end of Year 6. A score of 110 or above in any of the three measures indicates children working at a “higher” level of attainment.

St Thomas of Canterbury, which featured in the Times list in 2022, was ranked 226th. This was thanks to an English score of 109, a Grammar score of 112, and a Maths score of 110 from their previous cohort of Year 6 pupils.

Billinge Chapel End was ranked 412th in the top 500 list, with an English score of 109, Grammar score of 112, and a Maths score of 108 in the school's latest SATS scores.

St Helens Star: The Times put together a list of the top 500 performing primary schoolsThe Times put together a list of the top 500 performing primary schools (Image: Newsquest)
The Times further explains that the league table highlights how well some schools have helped the so-called “lost generation” to recover after Covid, as teachers grappled with falling attendance, a mental health crisis, overweight and screen-addicted children and even pupils turning up to school in nappies.

Techniques to boost reading and make learning more creative have been pivotal to increasing engagement in some classrooms, with a top headteacher saying that primary school should be more fun to help bridge the attainment gap following the pandemic.