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Students struggle with tougher SATs at age seven

04/10/2016 Kelly

Last year, tougher SATs tests were introduced for seven-year-olds, and official figures published this week show that this resulted in less children reaching the desired standard.

Just 65 per cent of pupils reached the new, tougher standard in writing, compared to 88 per cent last year. Likewise, 74 per cent reached the standard in reading and 73 per cent in maths, compared to 90 per cent and 93 per cent respectively in 2015.

While these results aren't submitted to the Department for Education, they are used to feed into teacher assessments. This is particularly important for writing, which is graded solely on teacher assessment.

There was also due to be an assessment on spelling, punctuation and grammar, but pupils did not sit that this year after it was accidentally published online as a test paper.

As with the previous tests, girls have continued to achieve higher grades than boys this year. The widest gap was seen in the writing test, where 73 per cent of girls reached the required standard compared to just 59 per cent of boys.

In reading, 78 per cent of girls reached the expected level, compared with 70 per cent of boys, while in maths, 74 per cent of girls reached the expected level, in comparison to 72 per cent of boys.

The changes made to SATs tests last year saw much criticism, which could prompt further adjustments to how they are delivered in this academic year - particularly the reading test, which children reportedly found quite stressful, TES stated.

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