Reading, writing and maths attainments for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2)
The main facts and figures show that:
- overall, in 2016/17, 61% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by the end of key stage 2 (when they are usually aged 10 or 11 years), and 9% met the higher standard
- pupils from the Chinese ethnic group were most likely to meet both the expected and higher standards out of all ethnic groups
- Gypsy/Roma children were least likely to meet the expected and higher standards
- across all ethnic groups, girls were more likely than boys to meet both the expected and higher standards
- across all ethnic groups, a lower percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) met the expected standard
- the local authority where the highest percentage of pupils met the expected standard was the City of London, where 88% did so; however, the data for the City of London is based on small numbers of pupils and is therefore highly variable over time
Things you need to know
In 2016/17, there were 598,997 pupils in key stage 2 at state-funded schools in England, and ethnicity was known for 593,712 (99%) of them.
Of those whose ethnicity was known, 75% were White, 11% were Asian, 6% were Black, 6% were Mixed, 2% belonged to 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 results, see the Methodology section.
What the data measures
This data measures the percentage of pupils who met standards in reading, writing and maths 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 reading and maths, and have been assessed in writing as 'working at the expected standard' or 'working at a greater depth within the expected standard'
- higher standard – to meet this, pupils must have achieved a ‘scaled score’ of 110 or more in reading and maths, and have been assessed in writing as 'working at a greater depth within the expected standard'
A pupil’s scaled score can 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:
- Sri Lankan
- Other Asian background
- 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 British
- White Irish
- Traveller of Irish Heritage
- Other White
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
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- 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
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
Reading, writing and maths attainment for children aged 10 to 11 by ethnicity
Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standards in reading, writing and maths by ethnicity
|Ethnicity||Expected standard||Higher standard|
|Mixed White/Black African||62||8|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||55||5|
|White Irish Traveller||20||withheld to protect confidentiality|
The data shows that:
- overall, in 2016/17, 61% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by the end of key stage 2 (when they are usually aged 10 to 11 years), and 9% met the higher standard
- 77% of pupils from the Chinese ethnic group met the expected standard and 24% met the higher standard (the highest percentages of any ethnic group)
- 16% of Gypsy/Roma pupils met the expected standard and 0% met the higher standard (the lowest percentages of any ethnic group for which there is data)
- 62% of White British pupils met the expected standard and 9% met the higher standard
Reading, writing and maths attainment for children aged 10 to 11 by ethnicity and eligibility for free school meals (FSM)
Percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by ethnicity and free school meals
|Mixed White/Black African||50||66|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||44||60|
|White Irish Traveller||17||28|
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.
In 2016/17, 15% of pupils in year 6 (the final year of key stage 2) were known to be eligible for free school meals.
This data shows that:
- overall, 43% of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, compared with 64% of pupils not eligible for FSM
- in every ethnic group, a lower percentage of pupils eligible for FSM met the expected standard than pupils not eligible for FSM
- out of all ethnic groups, pupils from the Chinese group were most likely to meet the expected standard, both for pupils eligible for FSM (where 66% did so) and those not eligible for FSM (where 77% did so)
- pupils from the Gypsy/Roma ethnic group were least likely to meet the expected standard, both for pupils eligible for FSM (where 15% did so) and those not eligible for FSM (where 17% did so)
Reading, writing and maths attainment for children aged 10 to 11 by ethnicity and area
Percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by ethnicity and area
|Barking and Dagenham||63||70||66||withheld to protect confidentiality||60||58|
|Bath and North East Somerset||63||75||23||withheld to protect confidentiality||59||64|
|Bedford||53||52||47||withheld to protect confidentiality||54||54|
|Blackburn with Darwen||60||61||50||withheld to protect confidentiality||55||59|
|Blackpool||62||66||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||67||62|
|Bournemouth||63||77||71||withheld to protect confidentiality||68||62|
|Brent||61||63||56||withheld to protect confidentiality||61||64|
|Brighton and Hove||64||55||55||65||65||65|
|Bristol, City of||61||62||46||withheld to protect confidentiality||57||64|
|Buckinghamshire||64||62||56||withheld to protect confidentiality||57||65|
|Calderdale||58||53||50||withheld to protect confidentiality||62||59|
|Camden||67||66||59||withheld to protect confidentiality||66||70|
|Cheshire East||64||74||57||withheld to protect confidentiality||62||64|
|Cheshire West and Chester||59||74||50||withheld to protect confidentiality||58||59|
|City of London||88||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||N/A*||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality|
|Cornwall||59||52||withheld to protect confidentiality||63||66||58|
|Darlington||61||72||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||68||60|
|Derby||55||55||53||withheld to protect confidentiality||57||55|
|Doncaster||54||51||43||withheld to protect confidentiality||60||54|
|Dudley||55||56||46||withheld to protect confidentiality||58||56|
|Ealing||65||64||60||withheld to protect confidentiality||64||71|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||61||75||withheld to protect confidentiality||100||68||61|
|East Sussex||57||65||53||withheld to protect confidentiality||62||57|
|Enfield||61||74||58||withheld to protect confidentiality||68||58|
|Halton||56||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||68||56|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||74||72||72||withheld to protect confidentiality||76||74|
|Harrow||70||76||61||withheld to protect confidentiality||71||67|
|Hartlepool||65||68||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||60||65|
|Herefordshire, County of||60||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||100||66||60|
|Hounslow||66||72||61||withheld to protect confidentiality||68||62|
|Isle of Wight||55||69||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||59||55|
|Isles of Scilly||35||N/A*||N/A*||N/A*||N/A*||35|
|Islington||66||77||58||withheld to protect confidentiality||65||68|
|Kensington and Chelsea||76||71||74||100||73||78|
|Kingston upon Hull, City of||63||70||57||100||77||62|
|Kingston upon Thames||65||62||57||withheld to protect confidentiality||69||65|
|Leicester||58||64||60||withheld to protect confidentiality||59||50|
|Merton||66||73||62||withheld to protect confidentiality||65||63|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||63||65||61||70||66||64|
|North East Lincolnshire||59||73||100||withheld to protect confidentiality||72||59|
|North Lincolnshire||59||69||38||withheld to protect confidentiality||67||59|
|Northumberland||61||79||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||59||61|
|Oldham||57||53||59||withheld to protect confidentiality||60||60|
|Poole||59||74||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||66||58|
|Portsmouth||57||67||60||withheld to protect confidentiality||65||56|
|Reading||59||63||57||withheld to protect confidentiality||54||60|
|Redcar and Cleveland||69||60||N/A*||withheld to protect confidentiality||79||69|
|Richmond upon Thames||76||70||57||67||75||78|
|Rochdale||56||54||50||withheld to protect confidentiality||66||56|
|Rutland||67||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||69||66|
|Salford||61||76||63||withheld to protect confidentiality||56||62|
|Shropshire||62||65||38||withheld to protect confidentiality||71||62|
|Solihull||65||72||64||withheld to protect confidentiality||57||64|
|Somerset||59||69||53||withheld to protect confidentiality||61||59|
|South Gloucestershire||60||78||51||withheld to protect confidentiality||56||60|
|South Tyneside||65||66||57||withheld to protect confidentiality||74||65|
|Southampton||62||67||69||withheld to protect confidentiality||66||61|
|Southend-on-Sea||66||80||76||withheld to protect confidentiality||73||64|
|St. Helens||58||86||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||59||58|
|Stockton-on-Tees||64||61||65||withheld to protect confidentiality||79||64|
|Sunderland||68||64||withheld to protect confidentiality||100||64||68|
|Telford and Wrekin||61||60||59||withheld to protect confidentiality||61||61|
|Torbay||60||69||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||60||59|
|Wandsworth||69||66||60||withheld to protect confidentiality||64||77|
|Warrington||70||78||80||withheld to protect confidentiality||69||69|
|West Berkshire||62||73||77||withheld to protect confidentiality||62||61|
|Wigan||66||72||58||withheld to protect confidentiality||72||66|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||66||69||58||withheld to protect confidentiality||64||67|
|Wirral||57||61||withheld to protect confidentiality||67||71||57|
|Wokingham||70||82||69||withheld to protect confidentiality||73||68|
|Wolverhampton||60||66||65||withheld to protect confidentiality||58||58|
|Worcestershire||57||55||68||withheld to protect confidentiality||61||57|
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, 88% of pupils in the City of London local authority met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by the end of key stage 2 – this was the highest percentage out of all local authorities, followed by Kensington and Chelsea, Bromley, and Richmond upon Thames (all in London), where 76% of pupils met the standard
- the local authorities where the lowest percentage of pupils met the expected standard were the Isles of Scilly in the South West (35%), and Peterborough in the East of England (52%)
- 100% of Asian pupils in Plymouth (South West) met the expected standard, while 28% did so in North Somerset (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 North East Lincolnshire (Yorkshire and the Humber), while 23% did so in Bath and North East Somerset (South West)
- 100% of pupils from the Chinese ethnic group met the expected standard in 16 local authorities (out of the 87 for which data was available), while 45% did so in Wakefield (in Yorkshire and the Humber)
- 79% of pupils with Mixed ethnicity met the expected standard in Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton on Tees (both in the North East), while 47% did so in Kirklees (Yorkshire and the Humber)
- 78% of White pupils met the expected standard in Kensington and Chelsea, and Richmond upon Thames (both in London), while 35% did so in the Isles of Scilly (South West) and 50% did so in Leicester (East Midlands)
Reading, writing and maths attainment for children aged 10 to 11 by ethnicity and gender
Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standards in reading, writing and maths by ethnicity and gender
|Ethnicity||Expected standard||Higher standard||Expected standard||Higher standard|
|Mixed White/Black African||58||6||66||9|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||50||4||60||6|
|White Irish Traveller||18||withheld to protect confidentiality||22||withheld to protect confidentiality|
The data shows that:
- in every ethnic group, a higher percentage of girls than boys met the expected and higher standards in reading, writing and maths in 2016/17
- overall, 65% of girls met the expected standard compared with 57% of boys, and 10% of girls met the higher standard compared with 7% of boys
- 82% of girls from the Chinese ethnic group met the expected standard and 27% met the higher standard, the highest percentages for any ethnic group across boys and girls
- 13% of Gypsy/Roma boys met the expected standard, the lowest percentage in any ethnic group across boys and girls
- for the expected standard, the biggest gap between girls and boys, at 11 percentage points, was found in the Black Caribbean ethnic group – 59% of girls met the expected standard compared with 48% of boys
- for the higher standard, the biggest gap between girls and boys, at 6 percentage points, was found among in the Indian ethnic group – 19% of girls met the higher standard compared with 12% of boys
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
- 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.
Free school meals:
Pupils are included in the figures for free school meals (FSM) if their families have claimed eligibility for FSM at the time of the annual spring school census. This FSM definition includes all who were eligible to receive FSM, not only those who actually received FSM. Pupils not eligible for FSM or unclassified pupils are described as ‘non-FSM’ or ‘pupils not eligible for FSM’.
Parents are able to claim FSM if they receive a qualifying benefit.
FSM is used as an indicator of disadvantage, but when drawing conclusions, it should be remembered that not all eligible parents apply for FSM. Families who don’t quite reach the eligibility threshold for FSM may still be suffering deprivation.
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.
Percentages given in charts, tables and downloads are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Related publicationsQuality and methodology information
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Education
Note on corrections or updates
The Department for Education (DfE) published an updated version of these statistics on 25 January 2018.
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
This file contains the following variables: Measure, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_Type, Time, Time_Type, Region, Local_Authority, Local_Authority_Code, Value, Value_Type, Denominator.Reading, writing and maths attainments for children aged 10 to 11 (key stage 2) -national - Spreadsheet (csv) 112 KB
This file contains the following variables: Measure, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_Type, Time, Time_Type, Geography (England), Geography_Code, Gender, FSM, Value, Value_Type, Denominator.