Reading attainment for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2)

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1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2017/18, 75% of pupils met the expected standard in reading by the end of key stage 2 (when they are 10 or 11 years old)
  • 28% 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 Irish pupils made the most progress between key stage 1 and key stage 2
  • White Gypsy/Roma pupils were the least likely to meet both the expected and higher standards, and they also made the least progress
  • girls were more likely than boys to meet both the expected and higher standards in most ethnic groups
  • girls made more progress than boys in all ethnic groups
Things you need to know

In 2017/18, there were 619,690 pupils assessed for reading in key stage 2 at state-funded schools, and ethnicity was known for 614,126 (99%) of them.

Of those whose ethnicity was known, 75% of pupils were White, 11% were Asian, 6% were Black, 6% were Mixed ethnicity, 0.4% were Chinese and 2% were from another 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 reading attainment of pupils at the end of key stage 2 when pupils are 10 or 11 years old.

The data covers the academic year 2017/18 (September 2017 to July 2018). Data for the academic year 2015/16 and 2016/17 is available in the download file.

Standards in reading are divided into 2 categories:

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

For each ethnic group, there are also figures for:

  • average scaled score
  • progress score

The average scaled score measures the average attainment of pupils in key stage 2 reading 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 progress score measures the progress that pupils make between the end of key stage 1 (primary school year 2) and the end of key stage 2 (year 6). A pupil’s results are compared with the actual achievements of other pupils nationally with similar key stage 1 attainment.

This data shows an average progress score for each ethnic group. A progress score of 0 (the national average) means pupils are making the expected amount of progress. A positive score (0.1 and above) means they are making more progress than expected, and a negative score (-0.1 and below) less progress than expected.

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 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
  • 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:

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

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standards in reading, and average scaled score and progress score, by ethnicity
Ethnicity expected standard higher standard average scaled score progress score
All 75 28 105 0.0
Asian 75 27 105 1.9
Bangladeshi 76 25 105 2.0
Indian 81 36 107 2.6
Pakistani 70 21 104 1.1
Asian other 78 30 106 2.8
Black 74 24 105 0.3
Black African 75 26 105 0.9
Black Caribbean 70 20 103 -1.3
Black other 72 22 104 0.0
Chinese 83 42 108 4.7
Mixed 77 30 106 0.0
Mixed White/Asian 81 36 107 0.7
Mixed White/Black African 77 29 105 -0.1
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 72 24 104 -1.3
Mixed other 79 31 106 0.6
White 76 29 105 -0.3
White British 76 29 105 -0.5
White Irish 82 39 107 0.3
Gypsy/Roma 28 4 95 -0.7
Irish Traveller 37 7 98 -1.1
White other 69 25 104 2.2
Other 68 23 104 2.3
Unknown 63 24 104 -0.2

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

Summary of Reading attainment for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2) By ethnicity Summary

The data shows that:

  • overall in 2017/18, 75% of pupils met the expected standard in reading (when they are usually 10 or 11 years old), and 28% achieved a high score
  • pupils from the Chinese ethnic group had the highest attainment of all the ethnic groups, with 83% of pupils meeting the expected standard in reading and 42% meeting the higher standard
  • White Gypsy/Roma pupils had the lowest attainment, with 28% meeting the expected standard in reading and 4% meeting the higher standard
  • pupils from the Chinese ethnic group had the highest average scaled score (108), and White Gypsy/Roma children had the lowest average scaled score (95); the national average was 105
  • between key stage 1 and key stage 2, White Irish pupils made the most progress, with a progress score of 1.4; White Gypsy/Roma pupils made the least progress, with a progress score of -1.4

3. By ethnicity and gender

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standards in reading, and average scaled score and progress score, by ethnicity and gender
Boys Girls
Ethnicity Boys Expected Boys Higher Boys Average scaled score Boys Progress score Girls Expected Girls Higher Girls Average scaled score Girls Progress score
All 72 24 104 -0.4 79 32 106 0.4
Asian 72 24 104 0.0 79 30 106 0.5
Bangladeshi 72 22 104 0.3 80 29 106 0.9
Indian 78 32 106 0.3 85 40 107 0.9
Pakistani 67 18 103 -0.4 73 23 104 0.1
Asian other 75 26 105 0.1 81 34 106 0.7
Black 69 20 104 -0.2 78 28 105 0.6
Black African 71 21 104 0.0 79 30 106 0.8
Black Caribbean 64 16 102 -1.0 75 24 105 0.0
Black other 68 18 103 -0.2 77 26 105 0.6
Chinese 81 37 107 0.6 86 48 109 1.8
Mixed 73 26 105 -0.1 81 35 106 0.9
Mixed White/Asian 78 31 106 0.2 84 41 108 1.2
Mixed White/Black African 74 25 105 0.1 82 34 106 1.0
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 67 19 103 -0.8 77 28 105 0.2
Mixed other 75 27 105 0.2 83 36 107 1.1
White 72 24 104 -0.5 79 33 106 0.4
White British 73 25 104 -0.6 80 34 106 0.3
White Irish 78 33 106 0.7 87 45 108 2.2
Gypsy/Roma 25 3 94 -2.0 32 5 96 -0.9
Irish Traveller 35 7 98 -0.4 38 6 98 0.1
White other 66 21 103 0.7 73 29 105 1.7
Other 65 20 103 0.4 72 25 105 1.1
Unknown 59 21 103 -0.3 66 28 105 0.7

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

Summary of Reading attainment for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2) By ethnicity and gender Summary

The data shows that:

  • overall, in 2017/18, 79% of girls and 72% of boys met the expected standard in reading by the end of key stage 2 (when they are 10 to 11 years old), while 32% of girls and 24% of boys met the higher standard
  • girls were more likely to meet the expected and higher standards than boys in every ethnic group
  • White Irish girls had the highest attainment amongst boys and girls of all ethnic groups at the expected standard, with 87% meeting the standard
  • Chinese girls had the highest attainment at the higher standard, with 48% meeting the standard
  • White Gypsy/Roma boys had the lowest attainment, with 25% meeting the expected standard and 3% achieving the higher standard, the lowest percentages amongst boys and girls of all ethnic groups
  • overall, the average scaled score was 106 for girls and 104 for boys
  • Chinese girls had the highest average scaled score (109), while White Gypsy/Roma boys had the lowest average scaled score (94)
  • overall, girls made above average progress in reading between key stage 1 and key stage 2 (0.4), while boys made below average progress (-0.4); average progress is expressed as a score of 0.0
  • White Irish girls made the most progress in reading, with a score of 2.2; boys from White Gypsy/Roma background made the least progress in reading, with a score of -2

4. Methodology

The key stage 2 datasets combine information from the following two data sources:

  • prior attainment records (key stage 1 results)
  • school census records

Key stage 2 data received from the Standards and Testing Agency 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 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

Confidence intervals:

Confidence intervals are available for the ‘progress score’ if you download the data. These confidence intervals are calculated for a school based on a specific group of pupils. A school may have been just as effective, but have performed differently with a different set of pupils. Similarly, some pupils may be more likely to achieve high or low results, independently of which school they attend. To account for this natural uncertainty, it is best to interpret these school scores alongside their associated confidence intervals.

A 95% confidence interval around progress scores means that if the progress scores of 100 random schools were taken, then 95 times out of 100 their progress score would fall between the upper and lower confidence interval. But 5 times out of 100 it would fall outside this range.

School scores are interpreted alongside their associated confidence intervals in the following manner: If the lower confidence interval is greater than zero, it can be interpreted as meaning that the school has achieved greater than average progress compared to pupils with similar starting points nationally. Similarly, if the upper confidence interval is below zero, then the school has made less than average progress. Where the 95% confidence intervals overlap zero, this means that the school’s progress score is not significantly different from the national average.

The Department for Education no longer suppress any of the data published in this page.

Rounding

Percentages given in charts, tables and downloads are rounded to the nearest whole number. Progress scores are given to 1 decimal place.

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