Reading, writing and maths attainments for children aged 7 to 11 (key stage 2)

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The main facts and figures show that:

  • in 2015/16, there were 585,565 pupils in key stage 2 at state-funded mainstream schools in England, and ethnicity was known for 580,718 (99%) of them

  • 76% were White, 6% were Black, 11% were Asian, 5% were Mixed, 2% belonged to the Other ethnic group and 0.4% were Chinese

  • over half (53%) of pupils in key stage 2 reached the expected standard for reading, writing and maths, and 5% met the higher standard

  • Chinese children were most likely to meet both the expected and the higher standard

  • Gypsy/Roma children were least likely to meet the expected standard

  • across all ethnic groups, girls were more likely than boys to meet both the expected and higher standard

  • across all ethnic groups, pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) did less well than other children

Things you need to know

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 test 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 reading, writing and maths attainment of children in key stage 2 (years 3 to 6, when pupils are aged between 7 and 11).

The data covers the academic year 2015/16 (September 2015 to July 2016).

Key stage 2 test results range from 80 to 120 on a ‘scaled score’. (A ‘scaled score’ allows for variations in test difficulty year on year by standardising each pupil’s test results, allowing a clearer comparison between years.)

The standards for this measure, which combines reading, writing and maths, are divided in 2 categories:

  • expected standard
  • higher standard

To reach the expected standard, pupils must have achieved a scaled score of 100 or more in their key stage 2 reading and maths tests. They must also have been assessed by a teacher as 'working at the expected standard' or 'working at a greater depth within the expected standard' in their writing.

To reach the higher standard, pupils must have achieved a scaled score of 110 or more in their key stage 2 reading and maths tests. They must also have been assessed by a teacher as 'working at a greater depth within the expected standard' in their writing.

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses categories from the Department of Education’s school census, which is broadly based on the 2001 Census, with three exceptions:

  • Travellers of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma children have been separated into two 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:

White:

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

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

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

Asian/Asian British:

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

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Other Black background

Chinese

Other ethnic group

Information is provided for both detailed and broad ethnic groups categories where possible and when the data is available. The 6 broad categories used are as follows:

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

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 these levels.

The 5 broad categories are as follows:

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

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Reading, writing and maths attainment for children aged 7 to 11 by ethnicity

Percentage of pupils reaching the expected and higher standard in reading, writing and maths by ethnicity

Ethnicity Expected standard Higher standard
All 53 5
Asian 55 6
Bangladeshi 56 5
Indian 65 10
Pakistani 47 3
Asian other 61 9
Black 51 4
Black African 54 5
Black Caribbean 43 2
Black other 48 3
Chinese 71 18
Mixed 56 7
Mixed White/Asian 63 10
Mixed White/Black African 54 5
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 48 3
Mixed other 57 8
White 53 5
White British 54 5
White Irish 62 10
White Irish Traveller 19 withheld to protect confidentiality
White Gypsy/Roma 13 withheld to protect confidentiality
White other 48 5
Other 50 5

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

The data shows that:

  • across all ethnic groups, 53% of pupils met the expected standard and 5% met the higher standard

  • of White British children, 54% met the expected standard and 5% the higher standard

  • the best performing group were Chinese children – 71% met the expected standard and 18% met the higher standard

  • 13% of Gypsy/Roma children met the expected standard, making them the group least likely to do so

  • the percentage of Gypsy/Roma boys and girls and Traveller of Irish Heritage boys and girls meeting the higher standard has been excluded from the results to protect the identity of individual pupils

Reading, writing and maths attainment for children aged 7 to 11 by ethnicity and eligibility for free school meals (FSM)

Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by ethnicity and free school meals

Ethnicity FSM Non-FSM
% %
All 35 57
Asian 44 57
Bangladeshi 52 58
Indian 47 66
Pakistani 39 49
Asian other 49 63
Black 42 54
Black African 46 57
Black Caribbean 35 46
Black other 40 51
Chinese 67 71
Mixed 39 60
Mixed White/Asian 42 68
Mixed White/Black African 42 58
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 34 53
Mixed other 41 61
White 32 57
White British 32 58
White Irish 37 66
White Irish Traveller 17 24
White Gypsy/Roma 12 13
White other 38 49
Other 42 52

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

Eligibility for free school meals (FSM) is used as an indicator of deprivation by the Department for Education. For more about who qualifies for FSM, see the Methodology section.

This data shows that:

  • 16% of pupils were known to be eligible for free school meals (FSM)

  • overall, 35% of pupils eligible for FSM met the expected standard, compared with 57% of pupils not eligible for FSM

  • in every ethnic group, pupils eligible for FSM did less well than pupils not eligible for FSM

  • Chinese pupils were most likely to meet the standard; 67% of pupils eligible for FSM and 71% of pupils not eligible for FSM met the expected standard

  • Gypsy/Roma pupils and pupils from a Traveller of Irish Heritage background were least likely to meet the expected standard; this was the case for both pupils who were eligible for FSM (12% and 17% respectively) and those who were not (13% and 24% respectively)

  • data for pupils eligible for FSM who met the higher standard in reading, writing and maths is not available

Reading, writing and maths attainment for children aged 7 to 11 by ethnicity and area

Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by ethnicity and area

Local authority All Asian Black Chinese Mixed White
% % % % % %
Barking and Dagenham 58 68 62 withheld to protect confidentiality 57 51
Barnet 59 64 48 78 58 63
Barnsley 53 55 67 withheld to protect confidentiality 59 53
Bath and North East Somerset 54 67 29 withheld to protect confidentiality 60 54
Bedford 42 37 39 withheld to protect confidentiality 42 45
Bexley 59 71 64 88 64 56
Birmingham 47 48 43 75 49 48
Blackburn with Darwen 51 50 65 withheld to protect confidentiality 50 52
Blackpool 48 70 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 58 48
Bolton 56 60 43 withheld to protect confidentiality 59 55
Bournemouth 54 59 50 withheld to protect confidentiality 55 54
Bracknell Forest 52 65 41 withheld to protect confidentiality 61 51
Bradford 47 47 46 withheld to protect confidentiality 48 46
Brent 55 60 49 withheld to protect confidentiality 58 58
Brighton and Hove 58 55 32 withheld to protect confidentiality 58 59
Bristol, City of 54 54 38 56 50 57
Bromley 67 86 65 74 67 66
Buckinghamshire 57 54 45 74 54 58
Bury 55 49 40 70 56 56
Calderdale 47 42 32 withheld to protect confidentiality 58 48
Cambridgeshire 53 61 36 55 60 52
Camden 61 60 54 71 61 65
Central Bedfordshire 51 57 44 47 58 51
Cheshire East 52 65 withheld to protect confidentiality 58 53 52
Cheshire West and Chester 53 54 54 70 63 53
City of London 89 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 100
Cornwall 51 36 43 withheld to protect confidentiality 52 51
County Durham 59 70 50 81 63 59
Coventry 49 55 49 56 47 48
Croydon 55 65 49 withheld to protect confidentiality 57 56
Cumbria 51 73 43 64 59 51
Darlington 56 73 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 57 56
Derby 48 49 43 55 53 48
Derbyshire 53 54 67 71 55 53
Devon 54 61 33 56 62 54
Doncaster 46 43 60 58 46 46
Dorset 45 49 50 withheld to protect confidentiality 46 45
Dudley 49 51 45 50 45 49
Ealing 54 54 47 79 59 58
East Riding of Yorkshire 53 83 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 48 53
East Sussex 52 53 42 24 55 52
Enfield 52 68 48 82 55 51
Essex 56 71 57 76 59 55
Gateshead 61 62 76 withheld to protect confidentiality 67 61
Gloucestershire 54 61 42 65 54 54
Greenwich 64 72 67 93 64 57
Hackney 64 64 56 withheld to protect confidentiality 71 70
Halton 47 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 59 47
Hammersmith and Fulham 61 68 55 withheld to protect confidentiality 58 66
Hampshire 59 66 61 67 60 59
Haringey 56 56 48 52 66 60
Harrow 62 69 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 57 58
Hartlepool 53 62 withheld to protect confidentiality 50 73 53
Havering 63 73 65 76 62 62
Herefordshire, County of 52 57 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 53 52
Hertfordshire 59 69 54 83 57 59
Hillingdon 57 63 54 withheld to protect confidentiality 59 55
Hounslow 59 67 53 100 61 56
Isle of Wight 49 33 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 49 49
Isles of Scilly 55 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 55
Islington 57 57 54 withheld to protect confidentiality 57 61
Kensington and Chelsea 70 69 70 withheld to protect confidentiality 66 75
Kent 59 71 66 90 66 57
Kingston upon Hull, City of 53 71 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 59 53
Kingston upon Thames 60 64 46 78 65 58
Kirklees 49 47 43 70 45 50
Knowsley 48 74 50 withheld to protect confidentiality 70 47
Lambeth 62 70 57 81 64 68
Lancashire 54 49 44 76 56 55
Leeds 48 46 37 53 51 49
Leicester 51 56 49 56 48 46
Leicestershire 53 61 53 69 51 52
Lewisham 56 66 48 71 60 61
Lincolnshire 51 71 50 withheld to protect confidentiality 51 51
Liverpool 46 57 42 69 42 46
Luton 45 43 43 withheld to protect confidentiality 47 47
Manchester 52 50 54 68 52 53
Medway 49 66 65 71 49 46
Merton 57 66 50 withheld to protect confidentiality 50 56
Middlesbrough 49 44 65 withheld to protect confidentiality 54 50
Milton Keynes 56 71 53 71 57 54
Newcastle upon Tyne 57 57 44 53 58 57
Newham 62 67 58 64 54 56
Norfolk 50 67 37 64 56 49
North East Lincolnshire 51 56 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 63 50
North Lincolnshire 48 44 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 48 48
North Somerset 57 67 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 56 57
North Tyneside 56 58 43 100 62 56
North Yorkshire 51 59 45 69 71 51
Northamptonshire 49 51 44 53 49 50
Northumberland 56 53 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 47 56
Nottingham 50 53 53 71 48 49
Nottinghamshire 54 56 47 68 55 54
Oldham 47 41 43 withheld to protect confidentiality 50 50
Oxfordshire 52 43 36 80 51 53
Peterborough 43 47 36 57 39 43
Plymouth 54 46 60 withheld to protect confidentiality 60 54
Poole 54 68 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 51 54
Portsmouth 48 64 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 45 48
Reading 56 63 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 52 55
Redbridge 58 63 46 withheld to protect confidentiality 61 53
Redcar and Cleveland 60 56 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 79 59
Richmond upon Thames 67 69 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 69 67
Rochdale 51 48 42 withheld to protect confidentiality 47 53
Rotherham 54 52 49 43 57 54
Rutland 53 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 58 53
Salford 57 67 46 withheld to protect confidentiality 60 57
Sandwell 51 56 44 withheld to protect confidentiality 49 50
Sefton 56 54 44 withheld to protect confidentiality 63 56
Sheffield 52 48 45 76 49 54
Shropshire 51 55 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 58 51
Slough 55 62 48 withheld to protect confidentiality 57 45
Solihull 58 64 56 withheld to protect confidentiality 56 58
Somerset 52 63 50 withheld to protect confidentiality 63 52
South Gloucestershire 53 73 50 57 53 53
South Tyneside 57 68 57 withheld to protect confidentiality 67 57
Southampton 54 54 71 67 61 53
Southend-on-Sea 56 66 49 73 57 55
Southwark 58 67 54 67 54 63
St. Helens 53 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 43 69 52
Staffordshire 53 54 45 63 51 53
Stockport 58 56 23 63 65 58
Stockton-on-Tees 54 49 71 withheld to protect confidentiality 60 54
Stoke-on-Trent 45 45 42 withheld to protect confidentiality 44 46
Suffolk 49 56 57 withheld to protect confidentiality 52 49
Sunderland 61 61 77 43 44 61
Surrey 60 62 53 75 64 59
Sutton 65 80 63 100 69 60
Swindon 46 48 43 withheld to protect confidentiality 44 46
Tameside 55 55 42 57 63 54
Telford and Wrekin 56 52 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 51 56
Thurrock 51 55 62 withheld to protect confidentiality 47 48
Torbay 51 42 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 63 50
Tower Hamlets 62 63 55 withheld to protect confidentiality 60 60
Trafford 66 65 69 79 66 66
Wakefield 50 42 43 57 52 50
Walsall 50 53 48 withheld to protect confidentiality 49 48
Waltham Forest 57 57 53 71 60 58
Wandsworth 61 60 49 64 57 70
Warrington 61 68 45 withheld to protect confidentiality 76 60
Warwickshire 57 67 50 69 61 57
West Berkshire 56 70 58 withheld to protect confidentiality 58 55
West Sussex 45 52 36 42 50 45
Westminster 58 64 55 withheld to protect confidentiality 65 61
Wigan 57 56 44 withheld to protect confidentiality 52 58
Wiltshire 54 50 39 67 55 54
Windsor and Maidenhead 59 55 47 withheld to protect confidentiality 65 60
Wirral 49 61 withheld to protect confidentiality 61 49 49
Wokingham 61 71 67 78 56 60
Wolverhampton 53 59 50 63 52 52
Worcestershire 48 52 42 withheld to protect confidentiality 56 48
York 52 76 withheld to protect confidentiality 67 62 51

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • the highest achieving local authority was the City of London in the London region, where 89% of pupils met the standard – however, because there is only one school of 28 pupils in the City of London, this result should be treated with caution

  • the lowest achieving local authority was Bedford in the East of England, where 42% met the standard

  • Asian pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard in Bromley in London, and least likely to meet it on the Isle of Wight in the South East

  • Black pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard in Sunderland in the North East, and least likely to meet it in Stockport in the North West

  • Chinese pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard in North Tyneside in the North East and Hounslow and Sutton in London, and least likely to meet it in East Sussex in the South East

  • pupils from a Mixed ethnic group were most likely to meet the expected standard in Redcar and Cleveland in the North East, and least likely to meet it in Peterborough in the East of England

  • White pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard in the City of London – outside this local authority, which only has one school of 28 pupils, the next best performing area was Kensington and Chelsea in London

  • White pupils were least likely to meet the expected standard in Peterborough in the East of England

Reading, writing and maths attainment for children aged 7 to 11 by ethnicity and gender

Percentage of pupils reaching the expected and higher standard in reading, writing and maths by ethnicity and gender

Boys Girls
Ethnicity Expected standard Higher standard Expected standard Higher standard
All 50 5 57 6
Asian 52 5 59 7
Bangladeshi 53 4 60 6
Indian 60 8 69 12
Pakistani 43 3 51 4
Asian other 58 8 64 10
Black 47 3 55 5
Black African 50 4 58 6
Black Caribbean 39 2 47 3
Black other 44 2 52 4
Chinese 66 15 75 21
Mixed 51 5 60 8
Mixed White/Asian 60 8 67 11
Mixed White/Black African 49 4 60 6
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 43 3 53 4
Mixed other 53 6 62 9
White 50 5 57 6
White British 50 5 58 6
White Irish 57 8 67 12
White Irish Traveller 15 withheld to protect confidentiality 24 withheld to protect confidentiality
White Gypsy/Roma 11 withheld to protect confidentiality 14 withheld to protect confidentiality
White other 45 5 51 6
Other 46 4 54 5

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

The data shows that:

  • in every ethnic group, a higher percentage of girls than boys met both the expected and higher standard in reading, writing and maths

  • 57% of girls met the expected standard compared with 50% of boys, and 6% of girls met the higher standard compared with 5% of boys

  • Chinese girls were the highest achievers – 75% met the expected standard and 21% met the higher standard

  • Gypsy/Roma boys were least likely to meet the expected standard (11% did so)

  • the percentage of Gypsy/Roma boys and girls and Traveller of Irish Heritage boys and girls meeting the higher standard has been excluded from the results to protect the identity of individual pupils

  • for the expected standard, the biggest gap between girls and boys, at 11 percentage points, was found in the Mixed White and Black African ethnic group; 60% of girls met the expected standard compared with 49% of boys

  • for the higher standard, the biggest gap between girls and boys, at 6 percentage points, was found among Chinese pupils; 21% of girls met the higher standard compared with 15% of boys

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 70% 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.

Because of the changes to the curriculum, figures for 2016 are not comparable to those for earlier years.

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

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).

Figures for the Isles of Scilly and City of London are suppressed in DfE’s key stage 2 provisional Statistical First Release as these local authorities have a single school and DfE do not publish school level information in the performance tables at the time of the provisional release. These figures are unsuppressed in the revised release as school level figures are already published in the performance tables.

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

All charts, tables and downloads are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Related publications

Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2016

Quality and methodology information

Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Publication frequency

3 times a year

Purpose of data source

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

Download the data

Expected standard in reading, writing and maths (Local Authority) - Spreadsheet (csv) 172 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, value and denominator

Expected standard in reading, writing and maths (National) - Spreadsheet (csv) 50 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, gender, value and denominator

Higher standard in reading, writing and maths (National) - Spreadsheet (csv) 15 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, gender, value and denominator