Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ENGLISH CRISIS; ONE IN FIVE PUPILS MISSES EXAM TARGET FOR LITERACY; CALL FOR SATS TO BE DUMPED AFTER [Pounds Sterling]2 BILLION 'FAILURE'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ENGLISH CRISIS; ONE IN FIVE PUPILS MISSES EXAM TARGET FOR LITERACY; CALL FOR SATS TO BE DUMPED AFTER [Pounds Sterling]2 BILLION 'FAILURE'

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Ross Education Correspondent

THE number of 11-year-olds passing Sats in English has fallen for the first time since the exam was introduced in 1995, the Department for Children admitted today.

An estimated 115,000 children, one in five, left primary school last month two years behind their classmates, unable to read and write to the required standard.

The Government has spent [pounds sterling]2 billion on improving literacy and numeracy since 1997, only to see grades stall in recent years and now fall.

The figures brought fresh calls for ministers to scrap Sats and seek a new approach to primary education. The results from the Department for Children show: A one per cent drop this year to 80 per cent in the proportion of pupils passing English Sats at Level 4, the grade expected of 11-year-olds.

No improvement in maths and science since last year, with 79 per cent of pupils reaching the grade expected of their age group in numeracy and 88 per cent in science.

In London, 39 per cent of pupils -- about 30,000 children -- failed to pass English and maths at Level 4. Ministers said pupils who did not pass the tests at the Government's target Level 4 were not illiterate or innumerate and claimed that Level 3 was acceptable.

Critics said the results show the Government's flagship education policies had run out of steam. Shadow children's secretary Michael Gove said: "This is final proof that Labour,

Continued on Page 4

Sats marking system 'biased against pithy writing style of boys'

WHAT THE LEVELS MEAN

A child who achieves Level 3: Can read independently Has good literal comprehension Can find main points in a piece of writing Can write a sound sentence Has simple style, but clear and correct

Level 4 child: Is active reader - can infer, predict, visualise Reads "between the lines" Gets the point, moral and message Writes extended sentences using commas Chooses words for effect

Level 5 pupil: Recognises writing techniques and bias Writing is well-organised and paragraphed Uses standard English as appropriate Composes complex sentences, can use a subordinate clause Adapts writing to suit audience and purpose

Continued from Page 1 elected on a platform to raise standards in education, has failed to deliver. …

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