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MP stresses need for rising primary standards

18/07/2013 Joanna
Liberal Democrat MP Simon Wright has stressed the need for primary school teachers to help raise pupils' attainment levels if they are to go on to succeed at secondary school.

Pupils are currently expected to achieve a level four in the English and maths Sats tests they sit at the end of key stage two.

However, only 47 per cent of those children who average 4C, the lowest grade within this band, currently go on to obtain at least five GCSEs - including in English and maths - at grades A* to C, compared to 72 per cent of those who average 4A or 4B in their Sats.

In a bid to ensure pupils make the expected progress after they leave primary school, ministers are set to introduce a new higher standard that pupils will be expected to reach at the end of key stage two.

Speaking at the Westminster Education Forum, Mr Wright, a parliamentary private secretary to schools minister David Laws, explained that level 4C had not become the "milestone on the path to educational success that we would expect".

He added that most young people who just reach the expected level at the end of primary school would fail to arrive at the "relatively modest" level of attainment currently expected at the end of secondary school, making it a poor indicator of pupils' future prospects.

Mr Wright told delegates: "Of course, we also want to see more children jump over the existing bar, but we must also make sure that children leave primary school ready for success in secondary school and the bar must be set at an appropriate level for that."

He said the new primary standard would have to be "at least equivalent" to what level 4B is at present, to guarantee that 11-year-old children are on track to be successful when they are 16.

As part of efforts to raise standards in the shorter term, Mr Laws announced back in March that primary schools will next year be required to make sure at least 65 per cent of their year six pupils reach level four on their Sats tests, up from 60 per cent this year.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801613879-ADNFCR
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