Primary schools’ test results released

Published on Thursday, 15 December 2011 11:37
Posted by Scott Buckler

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said today that the Government would target the weakest primary schools in a bid to turn around chronic under-performance

He was speaking as the results of more than 16,000 schools’ Key Stage 2 tests – taken by 11-year-olds this May – were published.

They show that every child in 265 primary schools not only achieved at least the expected level in both English and maths, but also made the expected progress.

The new-look tables also highlight, for the first time, the great schools – some in challenging areas – which transform the life chances of pupils who were struggling at age seven but who leave primary achieving better than expected.

However, the figures also reveal that 1,310 primary schools were below the standard – and about 150 have been below the floor for five years in a row.

This year’s Key Stage 2 statistics show that:


  • A third of 11-year-olds are still not doing well enough in the three Rs
  • One in 10 boys leave primary school with the reading age of a seven-year-old
  • One in 14 boys leave primary school with the writing age of an seven-year-old
  • The percentage of children achieving the expected level in both English and maths rose one percentage point to 74 per cent. But the proportion achieving above that expected level is down in English and in writing – and by eight percentage points in reading.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

The seven years of primary school are key to establishing the buildings blocks of a child’s education, particularly in reading, writing and arithmetic. Today’s figures reveal on a school-by-school basis the high academic standards achieved by thousands of primary schools in this country. But 1,310 schools are today shown to be below the floor - and about 150 have been languishing with poor standards for five years in a row. It is these schools that we will pay particular attention to in the year ahead, whether through conversion to a sponsored academy or other measures.

Today’s figures also reveal how well different schools educate children of lower ability. We need to help schools learn from those head teachers and teachers who deliver a high standard to all those children, including those who struggled at Key Stage 1, or who are from a poorer background.

We are also shining a light on those schools where pupils who showed early promise did not maintain their bright starts and tailed off to become below average average performers.

He added:

Our priority is to drive up standards in primary schools right across the board.

It’s why we are placing such emphasis on improving pupils’ reading ability in the crucial first few years of a child’s school career. It is the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics, a tried and tested method, which will improve children’s reading. A child’s education stems from their ability to read well.

It’s why we are committed to improving standards in maths. We will prioritise the allocation of places on initial teacher training to courses with a maths specialism over generalist primary courses. We are also focusing on improving the basics of arithmetic in our primary schools.

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said:

We are extending the amount that even more of our children from low-income families will get through the pupil premium. From April next year schools will be allocated an extra £600 a year for every child who has been on free school meals at some point in the last six years to raise their attainment and help them catch up those from wealthier backgrounds.

The chasm between the attainment of rich and poor must be closed – 58 per cent of children on free school meals or in care achieved the expected level in English and maths by the end of the primary school but 78 per cent of their peers do so.

The information in the tables on low attaining pupils’ progress meets the Government’s commitment in the Green Paper to highlight the progress of the lowest attaining 20 per cent of pupils.

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