Half of 11-year-olds meet tougher SATs standards

Just over half of the country's 11-year-olds have met the expected new standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Nicky Morgan MP
Nicky Morgan MP

The results of the first SATs since the introduction of a new and more demanding system were published today (July 5).

The figure of 53 per cent was a lot lower than last year’s test result of 80 per cent but the Department for Education said the two were not comparable as they were achieved using two entirely different systems of assessment.

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Provisional local authority level figures will be released in September but the national figures showed 53 per cent of pupils met the new expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics; 66 per cent in reading; 70 per cent in mathematics; 72 per cent in grammar, punctuation and spelling; and 74 per cent in writing.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the results showed there was “no limit to our children’s potential” and added schools had “once again risen to the challenge of ensuring children meet new higher standards”.

She added: “We know we are asking more, but we’re doing that because we are committed to giving young people the best start in life - and today’s results show there is no limit to pupils’ potential.

“This is the first year we have assessed pupils under the new more rigorous system and it is no surprise that this year’s results look different to previous years, but despite that the majority of pupils have achieved above and beyond the new expected standard.”

The National Union of Teachers, though, was less impressed.

Kevin Courtney, acting general secretary, said: “Today’s figures are being presented as a definitive record of the achievement of individual schools, and of the school system. They will be used by the DfE, Ofsted and Regional School Commissioners to make judgments on schools – judgments that could have serious consequences for the jobs of school leaders and the future of the school.

“Yet in reality the figures are anything but definitive. They are the outcome of a process that 97 per cent of teachers, in a recent NUT survey, found seriously mismanaged.

“In the judgment of teachers, assessment arrangements in 2016 have been ‘shambolic’, ‘a fiasco’, ‘a disgrace’, ‘farcical’. Guidance has been late and frequently changing. Test papers have been leaked. The design of tests has been poor.”

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