Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2)

Published

There is a new version of this page. View the latest version.

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2017/18, 78% of pupils met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling by the end of key stage 2 (when they are usually 10 or 11 years old)
  • 34% of pupils met the higher standard
  • out of all ethnic groups, pupils from the Chinese group were the most likely to meet both the expected and higher standards
  • White Gypsy/Roma pupils were the least likely to meet both the expected and higher standards
  • girls were more likely than boys to meet both the expected and higher standards in all ethnic groups
  • girls from the Chinese ethnic group had the highest average scaled score, at 112 (compared with an average of 106)
  • White Gypsy/Roma boys (94) and girls (96) had the lowest average scaled scores
Things you need to know

In 2017/18, there were 619,654 pupils assessed for grammar, spelling and punctuation at state-funded schools in England, and ethnicity was known for 614,091 (99%) of them.

Of those whose ethnicity was known, 75% were White, 11% were Asian, 6% were Black, 6% were Mixed, 0.4% were Chinese and 2% were from the Other ethnic group.

Pupil numbers for key stage 2 vary between measures of attainment for different subjects. This is because pupils who don't have a valid result for a particular subject are excluded from the total. For more about valid results, see the Methodology section.

Previous versions of this page included attainment figures broken down by local authority area. The 2017/18 figures for local authorities will be added as soon as they are available.

What the data measures

This data measures the grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment of pupils at the end of key stage 2 (year 6), when children are 10 or 11 years old.

The data covers the academic year 2017/18 (September 2017 to July 2018). Download the data if you want data for the academic year 2015/16 and 2016/17.

The standards are divided into 2 categories:

  • expected standard – to meet this, pupils must have achieved a ‘scaled score’ of 100 or more in their grammar, punctuation and spelling tests
  • higher standard (sometimes called the ‘high score’) – to meet this, pupils must have achieved a ‘scaled score’ of 110 or more in their grammar, punctuation and spelling tests

The average scaled score measures the average attainment of pupils in key stage 2 maths tests. Results range from 80 to 120. A scaled score allows for variations in test difficulty year on year by standardising each pupil’s test results. This allows a clearer comparison between years. You can read more about scaled scores at key stage 2.

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses categories from the Department for Education’s school census. These groupings are broadly based on the 2001 national Census, with 3 exceptions:

  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma children have been separated into 2 categories
  • Sri Lankan is included in the Asian/Asian British group but is not reported separately
  • Chinese pupils have been assigned a separate category from Asian

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

Data is reported for broad and detailed ethnic categories. These are

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Sri Lankan
  • Other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Black Other

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Other Mixed background

White:

  • White British
  • White Irish
  • Traveller of Irish Heritage
  • Gypsy/Roma
  • Other White

Chinese

Other ethnic group

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standards in grammar, punctuation and spelling, and average scaled score, by ethnicity
Ethnicity Expected standard Higher standard Average scaled score
All 78 34 106
Asian 84 48 109
Bangladeshi 85 48 109
Indian 89 58 110
Pakistani 80 39 107
Asian other 86 53 110
Black 81 40 107
Black African 83 43 108
Black Caribbean 74 28 105
Black other 79 36 107
Chinese 90 62 111
Mixed 80 37 107
Mixed White/Asian 84 45 108
Mixed White/Black African 81 36 107
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 73 27 105
Mixed other 82 40 107
White 76 32 106
White British 77 32 106
White Irish 80 39 107
Gypsy/Roma 28 5 95
Irish Traveller 35 7 97
White other 75 34 106
Other 76 39 107
Unknown 64 28 105

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

Summary of Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2) By ethnicity Summary

The data shows that:

  • overall, in 2017/18, 78% of pupils met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling by the end of key stage 2 (when they are usually 10 or 11 years old), and 34% of pupils met the higher standard
  • pupils from the Chinese ethnic group had the highest attainment out of all ethnic groups, with 90% meeting the expected standard and 62% meeting the higher standard
  • White Gypsy/Roma pupils had the lowest attainment out of all ethnic groups, with 28% meeting the expected standard and 5% meeting the higher standard
  • on average, pupils from the Chinese ethnic group had the highest scaled score (111) and White Gypsy/Roma pupils had the lowest (95); the overall average scaled score was 106

3. By ethnicity and gender

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standards in grammar, punctuation and spelling, and average scaled score, by ethnicity and gender
Boys Girls
Ethnicity Boys Expected standard Boys Higher standard Boys Average scaled score Girls Expected standard Girls Higher standard Girls Average scaled score
All 73 30 105 82 39 107
Asian 81 43 108 87 53 110
Bangladeshi 83 43 108 88 53 110
Indian 86 53 110 92 63 111
Pakistani 76 34 106 83 44 108
Asian other 83 48 109 89 58 110
Black 77 35 106 85 45 108
Black African 80 39 107 87 48 109
Black Caribbean 68 23 104 81 34 106
Black other 73 30 105 84 43 108
Chinese 87 56 110 92 67 112
Mixed 75 32 106 84 42 108
Mixed White/Asian 80 40 107 88 49 109
Mixed White/Black African 77 31 106 85 42 108
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 67 22 104 78 32 106
Mixed other 77 35 106 86 45 108
White 72 27 105 81 36 107
White British 72 27 105 82 36 107
White Irish 75 35 106 85 42 108
Gypsy/Roma 23 4 94 33 5 96
Irish Traveller 33 7 97 36 8 98
White other 71 30 105 78 38 107
Other 74 35 106 79 42 108
Unknown 60 25 104 68 32 106

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

Summary of Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2) By ethnicity and gender Summary

The data shows that:

  • in every ethnic group, a higher percentage of girls than boys met the expected standard and higher standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • overall, 82% of girls met the expected standard and 39% met the higher standard, compared with 73% and 30% of boys respectively
  • girls from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups had the highest attainment out of all ethnic groups across boys and girls, with 92% meeting the expected standard in both groups
  • boys from the White Gypsy/Roma ethnic group had the lowest attainment, with 23% meeting the expected standard
  • the biggest gap between girls and boys, at 13 percentage points, was found among Black Caribbean pupils, where 81% of girls and 68% of boys met the expected standard
  • the smallest attainment gap, at 1 percentage point, was found among White Irish Traveller pupils, where 8% of girls and 7% of boys met the higher standard

4. Methodology

The key stage 2 datasets combine information from 3 data sources:

  • prior attainment records (key stage 1 results)
  • school census records
  • qualification entries and results collected from awarding bodies

Key stage 2 data received from the Standard Testing Agency (STA) and is matched to school census records to identify pupils’ ethnicities.

Pupils with no valid result for a subject are excluded from the calculations for that subject and are not included in the number of eligible pupils or in the outcome percentages for that subject.

Valid results are:

  • achieved the expected standard
  • not achieved the expected standard
  • special consideration
  • absent
  • working below the standard of the test
  • unable to access the test

The Department for Education no longer suppress the data used in this page.

Rounding

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

Related publications

Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2018.

Quality and methodology information

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The main purpose is to measure schools' and pupils' progress and performance from key stage 1 to key stage 2, in order to monitor and improve standards and inform parental choice when applying to local schools.

6. Download the data