Sponsored academies making good progress in DfE Key Stage 2 assessments

Data shows slow and steady improvements

The Department for Education released its statistical analysis of the National Curriculum assessment at KS2 this morning, with Schools Minister Nick Gibb quick to declare the improving test scores as a sign that the government is delivering on its one nation vision for education, and that more young people from all backgrounds are leaving primary school with the skills required to succeed.

The DfE claims that: “Today’s results (27 August 2015) come after the government raised the bar by introducing higher floor standards, banning calculators for maths tests and introducing a spelling, punctuation and grammar test.”

The report points out that 80 per cent of pupils achieved the expected level 4 in reading, writing and maths – up from 62 per cent in 2009, and that the highest ever percentage (87 per cent) of pupils reached the expected level in maths, up 8 percentage points since 2010. These figures are up 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively from last year’s figures.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the data is the progress being made in sponsored primary academies, which the DfE says are improving more quickly than those run by local authorities. It’s not yet clear, however, whether the government is making a like-for-like comparison, comparing the improvement of sponsored academies to ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ schools being supported by the local authority. Even so, it does mean children in sponsored academies are likely to be receiving a better education than they were previously, with the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level in reading, writing and maths now having reached 71 per cent – a 4 per cent rise on last year.

The data also shows that academies appear to see their results improve with each year they are open. Those open for just one academic year have seen results improve from 66 per cent to 71 per cent, while academies open for two or more years have seen their results improve by 10 percentage points since opening.