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National Reading and Numeracy Tests and entitlement to free school meals

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  • Release date: 28 February 2017
  • Period covered: 2016
  • Next update: 28 February 2018
Data that examines the performance of pupils and presents aggregate test results for all pupils in year groups 2 to 9.

This complements other similar outputs looking at the teacher assessments and Key Stage 4 results and attendance by entitlement for free school meals.

The main results from the 2016 national reading and numeracy tests were published in August 2016. The Annex to this release contains important background and quality information for the tests and should be read in conjunction with the data in this release.


Standardised scores provide a measure of relative performance only. The results for each year group and test are independently standardised every year. Therefore the data in this release cannot be used to compare the relative performance of pupils between the different tests. Please note that because data are independently standardised each year, the results cannot be compared over time.

Key results for 2016

  • Overall, the performance of pupils eligible for free school meals (eFSM) is lower than their non eligible counterparts (nFSM) in each of the national tests.
  • eFSM pupils are around 3 times less likely to achieve a standardised score greater than 115 in each of the national tests.
  • eFSM pupils are more than twice as likely to achieve a standardised score below 85 in each of the national tests.
  • The gap in performance at standardised scores between 85 and 115 varies between 3 and 6 percentage points across different tests and is lower than the gap at the higher or lower score ranges.


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