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Schools: Streaming

House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Lord Blackwell Lord Blackwell Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the latest data obtained by Ofsted on the extent of setting and streaming in schools, broken down by subject and year group; and what guidance on setting is currently given to schools.

Photo of Lord Hill of Oareford Lord Hill of Oareford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Ofsted holds data on the number and proportion of lessons observed during inspections in which setting, streaming or banding by ability is used. Its data do not separately identify these categories. Since the data are based on lessons seen by inspectors, they may not represent arrangements in the school as a whole, and may not therefore be an indicator of the use of these forms of grouping at a national level.

Ofsted has provided the attached data, which gives summary grouping information for 2009-10 covering English, mathematics and science in primary and secondary schools.

The department has not provided specific guidance to schools on setting. However, case studies showing the effective use of setting in schools will be made available on the department's website shortly.

Primary schools: Lessons observed on inspection by lesson grouping 2009-10 (all subjects)
Number Percentage
Year Group Total Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1 Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1
1 8817 516 8170 131 6 93 1
2 7301 601 6633 67 8 91 1
3 8560 890 7564 106 10 88 1
4 6510 719 5722 69 11 88 1
5 7932 1206 6632 94 15 84 1
6 7047 1532 5453 62 22 77 1
Total 46167 5464 40174 529 12 87 1
Primary Schools: Mathematics
Number Percentage
Year Group Total Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1 Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1
1 3067 179 2854 34 6 93 1
2 2554 274 2266 14 11 89 1
3 3053 522 2494 37 17 82 1
4 2341 444 1874 23 19 80 1
5 2966 776 2164 26 26 73 1
6 2745 924 1795 26 34 65 1
Total 16726 3119 13447 160 19 80 1
Primary Schools: English
Number Percentage
Year Group Total Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1 Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1
1 3837 299 3480 58 8 91 2
2 3202 302 2861 39 9 89 1
3 3212 319 2853 40 10 89 1
4 2412 240 2138 34 10 89 1
5 3090 379 2664 47 12 86 2
6 2877 558 2291 28 19 80 1
Total 18630 2097 16287 246 11 87 1
Primary Schools: Science
Number Percentage
Year Group Total Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1 Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1
1 503 8 485 10 2 96 2
2 406 4 401 1 1 99 0
3 626 10 608 8 2 97 1
4 502 7 493 2 1 98 0
5 543 8 529 6 1 97 1
6 457 15 439 3 3 96 1
Total 3037 52 2955 30 2 97 1
Secondary schools: Lessons observed on inspection by lesson grouping 2009-10 (all subjects)
Number Percentage
Year Group Total Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1 Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1
7 4345 1527 2770 48 35 64 1
8 4557 2014 2506 37 44 55 1
9 4736 2209 2491 36 47 53 1
10 4973 2113 2786 74 42 56 1
11 3964 1785 2132 47 45 54 1
Total 22575 9648 12685 242 43 56 1
Secondary Schools: Mathematics
Number Percentage
Year Group Total Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1 Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1
7 756 467 286 3 62 38 0
8 697 506 188 3 73 27 0
9 720 531 185 4 74 26 1
10 885 637 246 2 72 28 0
11 737 544 189 4 74 26 1
Total 3795 2685 1094 16 71 29 0
Secondary Schools: English
Number Percentage
Year Group Total Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1 Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1
7 743 367 362 14 49 49 2
8 815 462 342 11 57 42 1
9 804 474 324 6 59 40 1
10 890 540 341 9 61 38 1
11 795 515 274 6 65 34 1
Total 4047 2358 1643 46 58 41 1
Secondary Schools: Science
Number Percentage
Year Group Total Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1 Class setted, streamed or banded by ability where pupils are placed within an ability range within the school Mixed ability class Other1
7 479 217 257 5 45 54 1
8 571 362 209 0 63 37 0
9 600 388 210 2 65 35 0
10 746 487 252 7 65 34 1
11 622 403 219 0 65 35 0
Total 3018 1857 1147 14 62 38 0

1 this refers to lessons where other forms of grouping are used

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