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National Statistics

Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2013

Provisional data on achievements of eligible pupils in the national curriculum assessments and phonics screening check and at key stage 1.


Main text: SFR37/2013

Phonics tables: SFR37/2013

KS1 national tables: SFR37/2013

KS1 local authority tables: SFR37/2013

Combined methodology: SFR37/2013

Process maps: SFR37/2013


This Statistical First Release (SFR) provides provisional 2012/2013 information on the achievements of both eligible pupils in the phonics screening check and those pupils at the end of key stage 1 (KS1) in their national curriculum teacher assessments by level, gender, ethnicity, English as a first language, free school meal eligibility, special educational need and the income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI). Breakdowns of achievement for disadvantaged pupils were added to both the phonics and key stage 1 tables on 12th December 2013.

The phonics screening check introduced in 2012 is a statutory assessment for all children in year 1 (typically aged 6). All state-funded schools with a year 1 cohort must administer the checks. Those pupils who did not meet the standard in year 1 or who were not tested are re-checked at the end of year 2 (typically aged 7).

The KS1 teacher assessments measure pupils’ attainment against the levels set by the national curriculum. They measure the extent to which pupils have the specific knowledge, skills and understanding which the national curriculum expects pupils to have mastered by the end of KS1. The national curriculum standards have been designed so that by the end of KS1, pupils are expected to reach Level 2.

The figures contained within this publication combine the information gathered through the school census in January 2013 and the 2013 phonics and key stage 1 achievement data. This release provides information at national and local authority (LA) level and includes attainment by pupil characteristics. Tables showing a breakdown of KS1 attainment by area of pupil residence are included in this release.

The key points from this release are:

  • In the 2013 phonics screening check 69% of year 1 pupils met the expected standard of phonic decoding, an increase of 11 percentage points since 2012. As in 2012, girls outperformed boys with 73% achieving the expected standard compared to 65% of boys. All characteristic groupings have seen proportions achieving the expected standard increase in the last year.

  • In 2013 85% of pupils at the end of year 2 met the expected standard of phonic decoding. This includes the proportion reaching the expected standard of phonic decoding in year 1, 2012 and those re-checked or taking for the first time in 2013.

  • The 2013 key stage 1 (KS1) teacher assessments show that the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level has continued to increase in all subjects. The largest increases, also seen in 2012, are in reading and writing where the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level has increased by a further 2 percentage points. The percentages of pupils achieving the expected level in speaking and listening, science and mathematics have improved by 1 percentage point.

  • Girls continue to outperform boys in terms of the percentage of pupils reaching the expected level at KS1. The biggest difference is in writing with a gap of 9 percentage points, 1 percentage point lower than in 2012.

Sally Marshall

National Pupil Database and Small Area Statistics team

01142 742 317