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MORRIS WELCOMES IMPROVEMENTS IN TEST RESULTS

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School standards minister Estelle Morris has welcomed improved 1997 ...
School standards minister Estelle Morris has welcomed improved 1997

national curriculum test results for 7, 11 and 14 year olds in the

three basic subjects of English, maths and science. The results show

progress towards the government's targets, that by 2002, 80% of 11

year olds should achieve level 4 in English, with 75% reaching the

same level in maths.

Ms Morris said:

'This year's results show for the first time that in English and

maths over 60% of 11 year olds reached their expected level of

performance and in science almost 70% did so. I particularly welcome

these improvements as they confirm that our ambitious literacy and

numeracy targets are achievable. However there is still much work to

do to ensure that we achieve those targets.

'Raising levels of literacy and numeracy are key indicators of

success for us. We have already set out how we intend to achieve

this through a range of measures including the strengthening of

teacher training to include greater emphasis on the teaching of the

3Rs, by expecting primary schools to have daily literacy and numeracy

hours and through the use of summer schools. These results show our

continuing highlighting of the importance of literacy and numeracy -

and primary school homework - is clearly having a helpful effect in

the classroom.

'Girls continue to do better in English test results with 66% of them

achieving level 5 or above by the age of 14 compared to 47% of boys.

We shall continue our work to ensure that we tackle head on the

under-achievement of boys in English. Boys perform equally as well

as girls in science.

'There remain some areas of particular concern, for example, in

spelling tests for 7 year olds which were re-introduced this year.

They show only 62% of pupils achieving their expected level.

'I am also pleased that we have been able to publish these results

much earlier this year as schools and LEAs need the information at

the beginning of the school year, not half way through it. This year

we shall be sending all LEAs more detailed data on their schools

immediately. Summary leaflets showing the results are being printed

and will go to all schools next month. We shall also be publishing

primary performance tables much earlier than happened last year. 'In

short, there is much to welcome in these results - and I congratulate

teachers and pupils accordingly. But they also underline how much

more progress needs to be made - and the vital importance of the

initiatives we are taking to raise literacy and numeracy standards.

'We must continually ensure that the assessment system is as

rigorous as possible. With this in mind, I shall be making an

announcement about arrangements for the 1998 tests shortly.'

NOTES

1. The results show that in English, maths and science:

AT AGE 7 - more than four fifths of 7 year olds reached or exceeded

the expected level of performance for that age; AT AGE 11 - just

under two thirds of 11 year olds reached or exceeded the expected

level; AT AGE 14 - around three fifths of 14 year olds reached or

exceeded the expected level. Full details of the results are

attached.

2. The national curriculum assessment results will be published: as

three leaflets containing the summary results of the 1997 National

Curriculum assessment results of 7, 11 and 14 year olds in England,

which are being sent to all schools. These will be available from

mid-October from the DfEE Publications Centre on 0845 6022260 as

three booklets giving full details of the 1997 national curriculum

assessment results of 7, 11 and 14 year olds in England. These will

be available in November from the DfEE Publications Centre on 0845

6022260.

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