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1 May 2008 : Column 698W—continued


Primary Education: Standards

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his most recent estimate is of the proportion of children who completed Key Stage 2 with adequate levels of literacy and numeracy; and if he will make a statement. [201114]

Jim Knight: Levels of literacy and numeracy in primary school leavers are most commonly measured by the proportions of children gaining National Curriculum level 4 and above in English and mathematics, since these represent the expected national standard. Children who reach Level 3 of the National Curriculum are assessed as having effective skills in English and mathematics and can demonstrate a good standard of reading and mental addition and subtraction. They are able to read a range of texts accurately independently, tackle unfamiliar
1 May 2008 : Column 699W
words, discuss their mathematical work and begin to explain their thinking. Children achieving Level 4 have access to more complex forms of language and more complex ideas. They develop their own strategies for solving problems and are using these strategies both in working within mathematics and in applying mathematics to practical contexts.

Achievement of the target Level 4 provides children with a solid foundation in learning from which to access the full secondary curriculum—79 per cent. of pupils who achieved Level 4 (in a combination of English, Mathematics and Science) at Key Stage 2 in 2002 went on to get five or more good GCSEs in 2007.

The Department's new Public Service Agreements published as part of the Comprehensive Spending
1 May 2008 : Column 700W
Review in October 2007 have a dual focus on ensuring that pupils reach the levels expected for their age in both English and mathematics (threshold targets) and improving the rates of progress made by pupils from ages 5-16 (new progression targets) with increased attention to achieving faster progress for underachieving groups such as children in care and minority ethnic pupils. The progression targets will be a major factor in helping all pupils—regardless of their background and circumstances—to realise their potential in English and mathematics in particular.

Information on the attainment of pupils in Key Stage 2 English and mathematics tests since 1994-1995 is shown in the following table:

Pupil attainment in Key Stage 2 English tests:
Percentage of pupils at each level
A T/D B N W( 1) 1( 1) 2 3 4 5 6( 1) Total % at Level 3 or above % at Level 4 or above

1995

4

0

0

0

1

7

39

41

7

0

100

88

49

1996

3

0

2

0

1

6

30

45

12

0

100

87

57

1997

3

0

4

2

1

26

48

16

0

100

89

63

1998

2

0

4

2

1

26

48

17

0

100

91

65

1999

2

0

3

2

1

20

48

22

0

100

91

71

2000

2

0

3

2

1

17

46

29

0

100

92

75

2001

1

1

3

2

1

17

46

29

0

100

92

75

2002

1

1

3

2

1

17

46

29

0

100

92

75

2003

1

1

3

2

1

16

48

27

100

91

75

2004

1

0

4

2

1

14

50

27

100

92

78

2005

1

0

4

2

1

14

52

27

100

93

79

2006

1

0

4

1

1

14

47

32

100

93

79

2007

1

0

4

1

1

1

13

47

34

100

93

80


Pupil attainment in Key Stage 2 Mathematics tests:
Percentage of pupils at each level
A T/D B N W( 1) 1( 1) 2 3 4 5 6( 1) Total % at Level 3 or above % at Level 4 or above

1995

4

0

5

0

1

7

37

31

12

0

100

82

45

1996

3

0

2

0

1

5

34

40

1

0

100

88

54

1997

3

0

3

2

2

28

44

18

0

100

90

62

1998

2

0

3

3

1

31

42

17

0

100

90

59

1999

2

0

3

2

1

23

45

24

0

100

92

69

2000

2

0

3

2

1

21

47

24

0

100

93

72

2001

1

0

2

2

1

22

45

25

0

100

93

71

2002

1

1

2

2

1

20

46

27

0

100

93

73

2003

1

1

3

2

1

19

44

29

100

92

73

2004

1

0

3

2

1

19

43

31

100

93

74

2005

1

0

3

2

1

18

44

31

100

93

75

2006

1

0

3

2

1

17

43

33

100

93

76

2007

1

0

3

2

1

16

45

32

100

93

77

(1) Levels Wand 1 were valid in 1995 and 1996 only. Level 6 was valid from 1995 - 2002 only. A represents pupils who were absent. T represents pupils working at the level of the assessment but unable to access the test. D represents pupils disapplied from teacher assessment. B represents pupils who were assessed by teacher assessment only. N represents pupils who took the tests but failed to register a Level. W represents pupils who are "working towards" Level 1 but have not yet achieved the standards needed for Level 1. Note: Data cover all schools entering pupils for KS2 tests.

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