Rise in achievement levels for poorer students

The boy with books smiles

Rise in achievement levels for poorer students

New data used to compile this year’s primary school league tables shows that the gap has narrowed between disadvantaged students and those from a wealthier background. This is good news for the education sector in general, but there are still some areas that are falling behind.

2014 figures

The new information shows that 67 per cent of 11-year-olds who receive free school meals achieved level 4 for their writing, maths and reading. This is the level of learning that is expected by the time children leave primary school. For pupils not categorised as disadvantaged, 83 per cent achieved level 4 in these subjects. These figures show an increase of four percentage points from last year.

Across England, 79 per cent of 11-year-olds reached level 4; this figure was just 75 per cent in 2013. Students who are high achievers can take additional tests that are graded at level 5, which is the target expectation for those 14 years of age. Overall, 12 per cent of those receiving free school meals and 29 per cent of other students reached a level 5.

Poor still at a disadvantage

This shows a definite improvement in attainment levels for some of the poorest pupils in the country. However, it doesn’t mean that this is the case across the board, and there are still some areas where disadvantaged students are let down. These pupils are often falling behind in the early learning years, which are crucial for their development. Those children who are behind their peers when they first start school struggle to make up this gap.


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