Children: Reading

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of changes in the level of pupils' reading ability in the last ten years in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the UK.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

It is a statutory requirement in the national curriculum that pupils in state-maintained schools should be taught to apply phonic knowledge and skills for word reading.

The phonics screening check (PSC) was introduced in 2012 to confirm whether each child has learnt phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. Reading is also assessed in the national curriculum assessments at Key Stage 1 and 2. The 2016 Key Stage 2 assessments were the first which assess the new, more challenging national curriculum which was introduced in 2014. Because of the changes to the curriculum, figures for 2016 are not comparable to those for earlier years.

The most recent data for both the PSC and KS2 assessments is 2019, as the 2020 assessments were cancelled due to COVID-19.

In 2012 68% of pupils in state-funded schools in the Lincolnshire Local Authority met the required standard of phonics decoding, by 2019 this had increased to 81%.[1] In 2016, 63% of pupils in state-funded schools in the Lincolnshire Local Authority met the expected standard of reading at KS2,[2] by 2019, this figure has risen to 68%.[3]

In 2012 58% of pupils in state-funded schools in England met the required standard of phonics decoding. By 2019, this had risen to 82% of pupils in state-funded schools England. In 2016, 66% of pupils in state-funded schools in England met the expected standard of reading at KS2, by 2019 this had risen to 73%.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/phonics-screening-check-and-key-stage-1-assessments-england-2019

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-curriculum-assessments-key-stage-2-2016-provisional

[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-curriculum-assessments-key-stage-2-2019-provisional

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