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

The main facts and figures show that:

  • overall, in 2016/17, 77% of pupils met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling by the end of key stage 2 (when they are usually aged 10 or 11 years) and 31% of pupils met the higher standard
  • pupils from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups were the most likely to meet the expected standard, out of all ethnic groups; pupils from the Chinese group were also most likely to meet the higher standard
  • Gypsy/Roma pupils were least likely to meet both the expected and higher standards
  • across all ethnic groups, girls were more likely than boys to meet both the expected and higher standards
  • Chinese and Indian girls had the highest average scaled score, at 111 (5 points higher than the overall average of 106)
  • Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish heritage boys had the lowest average scaled score, at 95 and 97 respectively
Things you need to know

In 2016/17, there were 599,694 pupils in key stage 2 at state-funded schools in England, and ethnicity was known for 594,381 (99%) of them.

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

The Department for Education (DfE) has excluded, or ‘suppressed’, very small numbers (for example, values of 1 or 2, a percentage based on 1 or 2 pupils who achieved, or 0, 1 or 2 pupils who did not achieve a particular standard).

This is because, where the size of the ethnic group population is small enough that an individual’s identity could be revealed, information is suppressed to preserve confidentiality. This is consistent with DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF).

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 test results, see the Methodology section.

What the data measures

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

The data covers the academic year 2016/17 (September 2016 to July 2017). Data for the academic year 2015/16 is available in the download file.

The standards are divided in 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 – 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 grammar, punctuation and spelling 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, which is 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 has been added to the Asian/Asian British group but is not reported separately
  • Chinese pupils have been assigned a separate category

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

The categories in the school census are as follows:

Asian/Asian British:

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

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Other Black background

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

Information is provided for both detailed and broad ethnic groups where possible and when the data is available.

The 6 broad categories used are as follows:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Chinese
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic group

However, local authority data is only provided for 5 broad ethnic groups. Information about the specific ethnic categories is excluded to preserve confidentiality and ensure individuals cannot be identified. Information about the Other ethnic group is not given because DfE does not publish data for this group at the local authority level.

The 5 broad categories are as follows:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Chinese
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 10 to 11 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 77 31 106
Asian 84 43 108
Bangladeshi 85 44 109
Indian 88 52 110
Pakistani 80 35 107
Asian other 85 49 109
Black 80 36 107
Black African 83 40 108
Black Caribbean 74 26 105
Black other 78 33 107
Chinese 88 56 110
Mixed 79 34 107
Mixed White/Asian 84 41 108
Mixed White/Black African 80 33 106
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 73 25 105
Mixed other 80 36 107
White 76 28 105
White British 76 28 106
White Irish 82 39 107
White Irish Traveller 33 6 98
White Gypsy/Roma 29 4 97
White other 72 29 105
Other 76 34 107

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

The data shows that:

  • overall, in 2016/17, 77% of pupils met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling by the end of key stage 2 (when they are usually aged 10 to 11 years), and 31% of pupils met the higher standard
  • 88% of pupils from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups met the expected standard (the highest percentages of any ethnic group); Chinese and Indian pupils also had the highest percentage of pupils meeting the higher standard (at 56% and 52% respectively)
  • 29% of Gypsy/Roma pupils met the expected standard and 4% met the higher standard (the lowest percentages of any ethnic group)
  • pupils from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups had the highest average scaled scores, at 110 (compared with the overall average of 106); Gypsy/Roma pupils had the lowest average scaled score, at 97

Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 10 to 11 by ethnicity and area

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling by ethnicity and area

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

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

Except for the information for White pupils, the statistics quoted for attainment by ethnicity and local authority are often based on small numbers of pupils and are therefore highly variable over time. The number of pupils from different ethnic groups varies considerably between local authorities, and data isn't published for some local authorities where the number of pupils is 5 or fewer. For these reasons, you should avoid comparing differences in attainment between local authorities.

The Isle of Scilly had 17 pupils in year 6, and the City of London had 26 – results for these local authorities are particularly variable, and any comparisons with them are not recommended.

The data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, 92% of pupils in the City of London local authority met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling by the end of key stage 2 – this was the highest percentage out of all local authorities, followed by Kensington and Chelsea (London), where 91% of pupils met the standard
  • the local authorities where the lowest percentage of pupils met the expected standard (at 70%) were Norfolk and Peterborough (both in the East of England), and the Isle of Wight, and Medway (both in the South East)
  • 100% of Asian pupils met the expected standard in Rutland (East Midlands), Herefordshire (West Midlands), Plymouth, and Torbay (both in the South West), while 74% did so in Cornwall (South West) – these were the highest and lowest percentages of Asian pupils meeting the standard out of all local authorities
  • 100% of Black pupils met the expected standard in South Tyneside (North East), Wirral (North West) and Dorset (South West), while 50% did so in Shropshire (West Midlands)
  • 100% of Chinese pupils met the expected standard in 28 local authorities (out of the 74 for which data was available), while 55% did so in Wakefield (in Yorkshire and the Humber)
  • 92% of pupils with Mixed ethnicity met the expected standard in Kensington and Chelsea (London) and Stockton-on-Tees (North East), while 68% did so in Reading (South East)
  • 91% of White pupils met the expected standard in Kensington and Chelsea (London), while 66% did so in Leicester (East Midlands)

Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 10 to 11 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 Expected standard Higher standard Average scaled score Expected standard Higher standard Average scaled score
All 73 27 105 81 35 107
Asian 80 38 107 87 48 109
Bangladeshi 82 38 108 89 49 109
Indian 85 47 109 91 58 111
Pakistani 75 30 106 84 40 108
Asian other 83 44 109 88 54 110
Black 76 32 106 85 41 108
Black African 79 36 107 87 45 109
Black Caribbean 68 20 104 80 32 106
Black other 74 28 106 82 37 107
Chinese 85 51 110 91 61 111
Mixed 75 29 106 84 39 108
Mixed White/Asian 80 35 107 87 47 109
Mixed White/Black African 76 28 106 84 37 107
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 67 20 104 80 30 106
Mixed other 77 31 106 84 41 108
White 71 24 105 80 33 106
White British 72 24 105 81 33 106
White Irish 78 35 107 85 43 108
White Irish Traveller 28 4 97 39 9 99
White Gypsy/Roma 24 3 95 34 5 98
White other 69 26 105 76 33 106
Other 73 31 106 80 38 107

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

The data shows that:

  • in every ethnic group, a higher percentage of girls than boys met the expected and higher standards in grammar, punctuation and spelling in 2016/17
  • overall, 81% of girls met the expected standard compared with 73% of boys, and 35% of girls met the higher standard compared with 27% of boys
  • 91% of girls from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups met the expected standard, the highest percentage of any ethnic group across both boys and girls
  • 24% of Gypsy/Roma boys met the expected standard, the lowest percentage of any ethnic group across both boys and girls
  • the biggest gap between girls and boys, at 13 percentage points, was found in the Mixed White and Black Caribbean ethnic group, where 80% of girls and 67% of boys met the expected standard
  • the smallest attainment gap, at 2 percentage points, was found in the Gypsy/Roma ethnic group, where 5% of girls and 3% of boys met the higher standard
  • girls from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups had the highest average scaled score (at 111, compared with the overall average of 106), and Gypsy/Roma boys had the lowest average scaled score (95)

Methodology

Methodology

The key stage 2 datasets are compiled using information matched together from 3 data sources:

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

Key stage assessment data received from the Standard Testing Agency (STA) is combined with information on pupil's characteristics from the school census and prior attainment. Records are matched, using fields such as surname, forename, date of birth, UPN (unique pupil number), gender and postcode. This successfully matches around 60% to 75% of pupils.

Additional, more complex, routines are then applied to match as many of the remaining pupils as possible, up to around 98%. The coverage of the local authority and regional statistics is state-funded mainstream schools only in England. This includes schools and academies but excludes hospital schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision.

Any pupils who do not have a valid result for a subject are excluded from the calculations for that subject and do not appear in the number of eligible pupils or in the outcome percentages for that subject.

Valid results for the national test figures 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

Changes to assessment:

Because of a change in the way pupils are assessed, data published before 2016 is not comparable to 2015/16 and 2016/17 data.

The system of national curriculum levels is no longer used by the government to report on end of key stage assessment.

This measure has been replaced by 'value added' progress measures in reading, writing and mathematics.

There is no 'target' for the amount of progress an individual pupil is expected to make, and any amount of progress a pupil makes contributes towards the school's progress scores.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Values of 1 or 2 or a percentage based on 1 or 2 pupils who achieved, or did not achieve, a particular standard are suppressed. Some additional figures may be suppressed to prevent the possibility of a suppressed figure being revealed. This suppression is consistent with DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF).

Regional eligible pupil figures are rounded to the nearest 10 so that it is not possible to derive figures for these local authorities by summing the figures for the other local authorities in the region.

In the school level data, any figures relating to a cohort of 5 pupils or fewer are suppressed. This applies to sub-groups of pupils as well as the whole cohort, for example, if there were five boys and three girls in a school, DfE would not publish attainment for boys or girls separately but would publish attainment for all pupils as this is based on 8 pupils. The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires DfE to take reasonable steps to ensure that their published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality.

For more information about DfE’s disclosure control procedures for its statistical releases please see DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF).

Rounding

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

Related publications

Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2017

Quality and methodology information

Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Note on corrections or updates

Revised figures were published by DfE on 25 January 2018.

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.

Download the data

Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2) - national - Spreadsheet (csv) 98 KB

This file contains the following variables: Measure, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_Type, Time, Time_Type, Geography (England), Geography_Code, Gender, Value, Value_Type, Denominator.

Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2) - local authorities - Spreadsheet (csv) 347 KB

This file contains the following variables: Measure, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_Type, Time, Time_Type, Region, Local_Authority, Local_Authority_Code, Value, Value_Type, Denominator.