Reading, writing and maths standard unmet by 39% of primary school pupils

Sats results
Take Sats results 'with pinch of salt', says head teachers chief

04 July, 2017

The expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling was met by 77% of pupils, compared with 73% last year, and 76% of pupils met the expected standard in writing, compared with 74% last year.

Pupils' writing ability is not tested but instead assessed by their teachers against a framework, which sets out the criteria that have to be met before a child can be judged as working at the expected standard, or at a greater depth within the expected standard.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb today insisted the data showed "sustained progress" in England's primary schools.

But for some of those commenting on the Tes Community, it was not such good news.

This means 39% failed to reach the expected standard across all three subjects of reading, writing and maths this year.

Yesterday, before the SATs results were released, a Department for Education spokesman said: "Our new, knowledge-rich curriculum is created to ensure pupils master the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths so that every child can reach their full potential".

Ministers praised the hard work of schools, but head teachers said the results showed only a partial picture.

This year's cohort was the second to sit new tougher tests in line with a new national curriculum introduced in 2014.

"The nature of these tests and the weight put upon them by the school inspection regime has resulted in the narrowing of the school curriculum".

Speaking ahead of the results, NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said: "Currently, the methods to hold schools to account aren't as fair or as reliable as they should be".

"At the moment, parents and schools know that these results have to be taken with a pinch of salt".

'This year, students and schools are more familiar with the new-style tests.

"SATs data only gives parents part of the picture when judging a pupil's success or a school's effectiveness".

He added that simply looking at data missed most of the real work being done to help youngsters achieve their full potential. This is inevitable when this methodology underpins the measurement of school performance.

'We look forward to continuing that dialogue over the summer, so that we can build an assessment system in England that parents, teachers and school leaders can all have faith in, ' he said.

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