‘Thousands of primary schools across England, along with local authorities, have seen their league table positions upended as a result of tough new exams last summer, with school leaders saying the volatile results have vindicated their concerns over rushed implementation.
The official statistics published on Thursday bear out predictions that the new standardised tests, Sats, for 11-year-olds at the end of primary school would be disruptive. Many schools stumbled while adjusting to the more challenging tests for reading, writing and maths but with many still managing to show good progress among their pupils.
At local authority level the new exams have shaken up positions compared with the previous system, with the distribution of results resulting in fewer areas receiving top results, and many more clustered around the national average.’ - The Guardian
‘Final year pupils sat a raft of tough new tests in the summer. Only 53% of pupils passed, compared to the 80% who passed less rigorous tests in 2015.
Primary heads leader Russell Hobby said ministers had stressed the scale of the changes meant comparisons could not be drawn on previous years' results.
The government said schools had responded well to the higher demands.
Pupils at 14,930 state primary schools sat the new national Sats tests in reading, writing and maths - the "Three-Rs"; they also sat a spelling and grammar test.
Schools are then ranked by these results to enable parents to narrow down the choice of schools for their children.
In the run up to and during the tests, teachers and heads across England complained that the new papers had been set at too high a level and that not enough information had been made available.
The government's expectation is that 65% of pupils in each school should meet the new expected standard in the "Three Rs".
In total, about 11,000 schools failed to meet this target.
However, the Department for Education (DfE) said schools that achieved sufficient progress scores in reading, writing and maths would not be considered to be failing.’ - BBC News
Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Standards, wrote in the Telegraph
‘This new curriculum raises expectations for all pupils. We want children to develop a wide vocabulary, strong spelling and punctuation and a good general knowledge of history, geography and science. And we want pupils to be fluent in the basics of arithmetic, able to perform long multiplication and long division and to add and divide fractions. And we expect pupils to know their timetables by heart.
We based the new curriculum on what is taught in primary schools around the world, particularly in those countries whose education systems top the international league tables; countries such as Singapore.
We are determined that all pupils, whatever their background, are taught this vital knowledge so that they are fully prepared to be successful at secondary school.’ - Telegraph