Reading results for 6 to 7 year olds

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • 75% of pupils in year 2 met the expected standard in reading in the 2018 to 2019 school year
  • 25% of pupils met the higher standard
  • pupils from the Chinese ethnic group were most likely out of all ethnic groups to meet both the expected and higher standards
  • pupils from the White Gypsy and Roma ethnic group were least likely out of all ethnic groups to meet both the expected and higher standards
  • in every ethnic group, girls were more likely than boys to meet both the expected and higher standards
  • in every ethnic group, pupils eligible for free school meals were less likely to meet the expected standard than other pupils
Things you need to know

In the 2018 to 2019 school year, 666,393 pupils were assessed for reading in year 2 (when they were 6 or 7 years old).

Ethnicity was known for 98.6% of pupils. Of those:

  • 74% of pupils were White
  • 11% were Asian
  • 6% had Mixed ethnicity
  • 5% were Black
  • 0.5% were Chinese
  • 2% were from Other ethnic groups

At the end of year 2, teachers assess pupils in reading, writing, maths and science. Pupils also take reading and maths tests. This data only includes teacher assessments, as schools don’t submit test data to the Department of Education.

Results for the Isles of Scilly and the City of London are not included in local authority breakdowns as they only have one school each.

There were 2,529 Gypsy and Roma pupils and 682 Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils. Use caution when interpreting figures for these groups as they are based on small numbers of pupils.

This data only includes pupils in state-funded schools.

107,158 pupils (16%) were eligible for free school meals.

School-level data is not published for key stage 1 subjects.

What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of pupils who met the expected and higher standards in reading.

Teachers assess pupils at the end of key stage 1 (year 2), when children are 6 or 7 years old.

They assess each pupil against the following standards:

  • expected standard – pupils are 'working at the expected standard' or 'working at greater depth within the expected standard'
  • higher standard – pupils are 'working at a greater depth within the expected standard'
The ethnic categories used in this data

This data groups ethnicities from the Department for Education’s school census. These groupings are based on the 2001 Census of England and Wales, with 2 exceptions:

  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy and Roma children are in separate categories
  • Chinese pupils are included in a separate category from Asian

These changes were made after consultations with local authorities and lobby groups.

Local authority data is only provided for 6 ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Chinese
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standards in reading, by ethnicity
Ethnicity Expected standard Higher standard
All 75 25
Asian 77 25
Bangladeshi 75 24
Indian 83 32
Pakistani 72 19
Asian other 77 26
Black 76 22
Black African 78 23
Black Caribbean 71 18
Black other 73 21
Chinese 84 37
Mixed 77 27
Mixed White/Asian 82 33
Mixed White/Black African 77 27
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 72 20
Mixed other 78 28
White 75 25
White British 76 26
White Irish 80 33
Gypsy/Roma 30 4
Irish Traveller 35 7
White other 71 21
Other 68 18
Unknown 56 18

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Reading results for 6 to 7 year olds By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • 75% of pupils met the expected standard in reading in year 2 (when they were 6 or 7 years old)
  • 25% met the higher standard
  • 84% of pupils from the Chinese ethnic group met the expected standard, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 37% of pupils from the Chinese ethnic group met the higher standard, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 30% of White Gypsy and Roma pupils met the expected standard, the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 4% of White Gypsy and Roma pupils met the higher standard, the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 76% of White British pupils met the expected standard, and 26% met the higher standard

3. By ethnicity and gender

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standards in reading, by ethnicity and gender
Boys Girls
Ethnicity Boys Expected standard Boys Higher standard Girls Expected standard Girls Higher standard
All 71 22 79 29
Asian 72 21 81 28
Bangladeshi 71 20 80 27
Indian 79 28 87 37
Pakistani 67 16 78 22
Asian other 73 22 81 30
Black 70 18 82 26
Black African 73 19 83 28
Black Caribbean 65 14 78 21
Black other 67 17 80 25
Chinese 81 33 88 41
Mixed 73 24 82 31
Mixed White/Asian 79 30 85 37
Mixed White/Black African 73 23 81 30
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 66 17 77 24
Mixed other 74 26 82 31
White 71 22 79 29
White British 72 23 80 30
White Irish 76 29 84 38
Gypsy/Roma 28 3 32 5
Irish Traveller 27 5 42 9
White other 67 18 75 24
Other 64 16 72 20
Unknown 53 16 60 20

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender’ (CSV)

Summary of Reading results for 6 to 7 year olds By ethnicity and gender Summary

This data shows that:

  • 79% of girls and 71% of boys met the expected standard in reading
  • 29% of girls and 22% of boys met the higher standard
  • in every ethnic group, girls were more likely than boys to meet both the expected and higher standards
  • girls from the Chinese ethnic group were the most likely to meet the expected standard (88%) and the higher standard (41%)
  • boys from the White Irish Traveller ethnic group were the least likely to meet the expected standard (27%)
  • boys from the White Gypsy and Roma ethnic group were least likely to meet the higher standard (3%)
  • 42% of girls and 27% of boys in the White Irish Traveller ethnic group met the expected standard - the biggest gap between girls and boys
  • the biggest gap between girls and boys in the higher standard was in the Black African, Indian and White Irish ethnic groups
  • 32% of girls and 28% of boys in the White Gypsy and Roma ethnic group met the expected standard, and 5% of girls and 3% of boys met the higher standard - the smallest gaps between girls and boys
  • 80% of girls and 72% of boys in the White British ethnic group met the expected standard, and 30% of girls and 23% of boys met the higher standard

4. By ethnicity and eligibility for free school meals

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, by ethnicity and eligibility for free school meals
Ethnicity FSM Non-FSM
% %
All 60 78
Asian 69 78
Bangladeshi 72 76
Indian 75 83
Pakistani 68 73
Asian other 67 79
Black 71 78
Black African 74 79
Black Caribbean 65 75
Black other 67 75
Chinese 82 85
Mixed 66 80
Mixed White/Asian 68 84
Mixed White/Black African 70 79
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 62 76
Mixed other 66 81
White 58 78
White British 58 79
White Irish 56 84
Gypsy/Roma 27 31
Irish Traveller 31 41
White other 59 71
Other 60 70
Unknown 55 56

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and eligibility for free school meals’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and eligibility for free school meals’ (CSV)

Summary of Reading results for 6 to 7 year olds By ethnicity and eligibility for free school meals Summary

Eligibility for free school meals (FSM) in England is used as an indicator of deprivation.

The data for FSM-eligible pupils shows that:

  • 60% met the expected standard in reading, compared with 78% of non-FSM pupils
  • 82% from the Chinese ethnic group met the standard, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 27% from the White Gypsy ethnic group met the standard, the lowest percentage
  • in every ethnic group, they were less likely to meet the expected standard than non-FSM pupils
  • White Irish pupils had the largest attainment gap between FSM-eligible (56%) and non-FSM pupils (84%)
  • among White British pupils, 58% of those eligible for FSM met the expected standard, compared with 79% of non-FSM pupils

5. By ethnicity and area

Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, by ethnicity and area
Local authority All Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
% % % % % % %
Barking and Dagenham 73 75 79 83 74 69 77
Barnet 79 83 78 86 82 80 71
Barnsley 72 82 71 N/A* 71 73 89
Bath and North East Somerset 78 76 80 78 84 78 35
Bedford 68 65 70 100 64 70 80
Bexley 79 85 86 87 82 76 78
Birmingham 72 74 73 83 73 71 69
Blackburn with Darwen 74 76 71 67 77 73 67
Blackpool 71 81 55 80 73 72 40
Bolton 72 75 65 67 73 73 61
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 76 78 74 92 79 77 68
Bracknell Forest 79 83 96 100 87 78 78
Bradford 73 75 73 89 74 72 60
Brent 74 77 75 93 77 73 66
Brighton and Hove 76 67 82 79 82 77 53
Bristol, City of 74 67 69 83 71 76 59
Bromley 80 89 76 91 80 80 77
Buckinghamshire 78 74 77 88 78 79 81
Bury 72 68 69 73 75 73 68
Calderdale 72 67 57 50 73 74 69
Cambridgeshire 74 79 77 82 76 74 71
Camden 77 74 75 83 77 78 73
Central Bedfordshire 78 86 74 90 82 78 79
Cheshire East 77 74 63 78 76 77 67
Cheshire West and Chester 73 79 62 86 78 73 48
City of London withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
Cornwall 72 67 43 55 79 72 52
County Durham 76 75 92 80 85 76 63
Coventry 72 77 72 88 72 70 64
Croydon 77 82 78 86 79 75 73
Cumbria 75 69 67 57 82 75 65
Darlington 75 68 91 100 82 75 55
Derby 72 77 76 79 71 71 67
Derbyshire 74 70 83 71 81 74 66
Devon 74 58 85 81 80 74 58
Doncaster 73 70 75 80 70 74 55
Dorset 76 83 75 100 80 76 59
Dudley 73 75 70 86 71 74 61
Ealing 75 76 73 78 81 77 69
East Riding of Yorkshire 75 86 100 100 81 75 63
East Sussex 77 80 69 68 79 77 56
Enfield 70 79 71 91 80 66 67
Essex 77 82 78 86 78 76 76
Gateshead 75 74 78 75 87 76 58
Gloucestershire 75 77 76 83 72 75 54
Greenwich 79 88 83 91 83 72 81
Hackney 79 82 78 88 81 80 76
Halton 72 80 100 N/A* 84 71 67
Hammersmith and Fulham 79 82 73 57 83 82 74
Hampshire 80 83 85 81 83 80 81
Haringey 76 85 78 89 80 76 63
Harrow 79 86 73 90 79 72 67
Hartlepool 74 66 67 100 80 74 44
Havering 77 82 79 92 78 77 69
Herefordshire, County of 79 75 85 100 90 79 50
Hertfordshire 77 80 74 84 80 77 68
Hillingdon 75 81 79 82 75 70 71
Hounslow 78 83 75 95 81 75 75
Isle of Wight 71 71 50 100 77 71 50
Isles of Scilly withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
Islington 76 76 75 92 77 78 70
Kensington and Chelsea 80 83 81 88 81 82 75
Kent 76 81 83 89 82 75 70
Kingston upon Hull, City of 72 76 66 67 72 73 64
Kingston upon Thames 80 77 78 100 83 80 74
Kirklees 73 74 81 88 71 73 66
Knowsley 72 92 76 43 75 71 71
Lambeth 78 76 75 96 81 82 72
Lancashire 74 71 79 79 74 74 52
Leeds 70 67 69 79 72 71 65
Leicester 70 75 70 80 72 65 70
Leicestershire 76 83 75 79 78 75 63
Lewisham 76 77 74 87 78 78 80
Lincludingolnshire 71 85 71 72 76 71 69
Liverpool 70 72 72 78 69 70 56
Luton 70 75 70 82 72 65 75
Manchester 71 71 74 78 74 71 64
Medway 76 85 87 83 77 74 76
Merton 79 81 74 96 76 80 82
Middlesbrough 70 65 70 100 73 71 54
Milton Keynes 77 81 80 88 81 75 52
Newcastle upon Tyne 75 75 74 75 77 76 70
Newham 79 81 80 92 83 72 79
Norfolk 73 82 72 84 79 73 69
North East Lincludingolnshire 74 75 50 50 68 74 56
North Lincludingolnshire 75 72 79 100 78 75 33
North Somerset 75 79 63 80 82 76 83
North Tyneside 78 71 83 100 83 78 56
North Yorkshire 74 70 52 73 80 74 55
Northamptonshire 74 79 74 83 74 74 68
Northumberland 78 82 60 100 72 79 70
Nottingham 70 71 80 80 74 67 64
Nottinghamshire 73 78 74 86 75 73 66
Oldham 71 70 71 88 73 73 53
Oxfordshire 77 78 79 85 76 77 66
Peterborough 67 66 69 92 71 67 53
Plymouth 71 71 73 54 74 71 61
Portsmouth 74 77 68 76 81 74 56
Reading 72 74 73 92 71 73 65
Redbridge 80 82 77 88 85 75 67
Redcar and Cleveland 75 88 100 100 72 76 22
Richmond upon Thames 83 83 79 96 83 84 81
Rochdale 70 67 71 81 67 71 61
Rotherham 72 71 78 94 81 72 58
Rutland 78 67 67 100 63 79 75
Salford 74 78 76 85 81 74 67
Sandwell 71 75 76 87 76 69 59
Sefton 75 67 62 60 77 75 38
Sheffield 72 70 78 75 70 72 65
Shropshire 74 58 100 63 71 74 63
Slough 75 80 76 100 74 70 74
Solihull 78 82 74 93 82 77 78
Somerset 76 77 78 100 83 76 54
South Gloucestershire 80 89 77 95 75 80 65
South Tyneside 76 74 79 100 75 76 90
Southampton 74 74 82 100 74 73 70
Southend-on-Sea 77 74 84 100 77 77 57
Southwark 79 77 81 85 76 81 68
St. Helens 74 65 73 62 77 74 20
Staffordshire 77 80 75 100 76 77 61
Stockport 76 74 68 76 76 76 66
Stockton-on-Tees 77 83 81 89 77 77 57
Stoke-on-Trent 72 74 70 76 71 73 55
Suffolk 73 79 75 86 71 73 73
Sunderland 75 70 75 84 76 75 60
Surrey 79 81 83 95 81 78 74
Sutton 80 87 78 95 85 78 70
Swindon 75 77 82 85 76 75 80
Tameside 73 70 55 69 73 74 66
Telford and Wrekin 75 67 71 89 77 76 33
Thurrock 75 83 84 77 80 71 84
Torbay 76 91 50 67 89 76 80
Tower Hamlets 75 76 75 86 78 75 61
Trafford 79 78 72 89 76 80 69
Wakefield 73 69 74 89 72 73 69
Walsall 73 78 69 73 77 73 58
Waltham Forest 79 80 78 87 80 80 79
Wandsworth 80 76 73 88 79 87 67
Warrington 78 81 80 71 80 77 75
Warwickshire 77 81 83 93 78 77 68
West Berkshire 75 77 68 71 81 75 77
West Sussex 75 77 61 81 75 75 74
Westminster 76 81 78 88 75 78 70
Wigan 76 78 76 91 78 76 58
Wiltshire 75 69 72 88 74 75 79
Windsor and Maidenhead 79 77 72 80 83 80 73
Wirral 72 78 60 95 77 71 70
Wokingham 80 85 74 90 83 78 87
Wolverhampton 74 81 74 72 79 72 63
Worcestershire 75 74 61 76 79 75 70
York 76 80 73 83 80 76 47

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary of Reading results for 6 to 7 year olds By ethnicity and area Summary

The data shows that:

  • out of all local authorities, White pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard in Wandsworth (87%) and least likely to in Leicester and Luton (65%)
  • figures for other ethnic groups are based on small numbers of pupils, so reliable generalisations can't be made

6. Methodology

Local authorities collect key stage 1 data from 16,400 schools and submit it to the Department for Education.

This data is matched to school census records to identify pupils’ ethnicities and free school meal eligibility.

The data only covers state-funded schools in England. This includes local authority maintained schools, academies and special schools. It excludes pupils in independent schools, alternative provision and those who are home schooling.

Some data is broken down by pupils' eligibility for free school meals (FSM). To be eligible, their families must:

  • have applied for FSM at the time of the school census in January
  • be receiving a qualifying benefit like Jobseeker’s Allowance

We refer to pupils who are not eligible for FSM (or whose eligibility is unknown) as ‘non-FSM’.

Only pupils with a valid outcome are included in the calculations for that subject.

The valid outcomes for reading are:

  • working at greater depth within the expected standard
  • working at the expected standard
  • working towards the expected standard
  • foundations for the expected standard
  • below the pre-key stage standard
  • absent
  • disapplied
  • maladministration

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Figures for the Isles of Scilly and City of London are suppressed as these local authorities have one school each.

The Department for Education (DfE) does not publish school-level information for reading.

You can also read DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF opens in a new window or tab) (PDF).

Rounding

Percentages given in charts, tables and downloads are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Related publications

Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2019.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

2019 key stage 1: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

This data provides results for the 2019 key stage 1 national curriculum assessments. The results are used to monitor pupils’ attainment in reading, writing, maths and science.

8. Download the data

KS1 Reading -- National - Spreadsheet (csv) 76 KB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, time, time_type, geography, geography_type, geography_code, gender, age, FSM, value, value_type, denominator, numerator

KS1 Reading -- Local Authority - Spreadsheet (csv) 548 KB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, time, time_type, geography, geography_type, geography_code, gender, age, value, value_type, denominator, numerator