Data looking at pupil achievements at the Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3, by entitlement to free school meals for 2019.
On-entry assessments are included in this analysis for the first time. These assessments are usually undertaken when a child enters reception class at age 4. Pupils are usually assessed at the end of Foundation Phase at age 7, Key Stage 2 at age 11 and Key Stage 3 at age 14.
Key Stage 4 data by entitlement to free school meals will be published separately in December in the 'Examination results' statistical report.
Comparison with 2018
The percentage of pupils achieving at least the expected level was lower in 2019 than in 2018 in all core subjects/areas of learning at the end of Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. This was the case for both pupils eligible (eFSM) and not eligible (nFSM) for free school meals.
Following a written statement by the Minister for Education in July 2018 and a consultation which ended in January 2018, teacher assessment data is no longer published at a school, local authority and consortia level. This is a significant move away from gathering information about young people’s performance on a school by school basis for accountability purposes.
This year’s results could be a reflection of these changes, whereby the prime purpose of teacher assessments has started to shift back to individual learners and away from holding schools to account.
- In on-entry assessments the percentage of eFSM pupils who were at a stage of development that would be consistent with or greater than their age according to the framework was lower than nFSM pupils in all areas of learning in 2019.
- The performance of eFSM pupils was lower than nFSM pupils for end of Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 in 2019.
- The performance of eFSM pupils at the end of Foundation Phase declined between 2018 and 2019. The gap between eFSM and nFSM pupils increased slightly. Following changes to the Foundation Phase Areas of Learning, data for 2018 onwards should not be compared with earlier years.
- The performance of eFSM pupils at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 has generally improved over the last 10 years. The gap between eFSM and nFSM pupils has generally decreased over the last 10 years. However, in 2019 the performance of eFSM pupils declined slightly and the gap increased slightly.
- In 2019 the gap in performance for the Foundation Phase indicator was 20.4 percentage points.
- In 2019 the gap in performance for the Core Subject Indicator was 15.4 percentage points at Key Stage 2 and 19.9 percentage points at Key Stage 3.
- There is a strong link between achievement and the level of entitlement to free school meals in schools: as the level of free school meals entitlement increases, the level of achievement decreases.
A further breakdown of the end of Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 results by gender and attainment level is available on StatsWales.
Key quality information can be found in 'Academic achievement of pupils aged 4 to 14 in core subjects', published on 7 August 2019 and 'Schools’ census results', published on 31 July 2019.
Datasets and interactive tools
Achievement and entitlement to free school meals, 2019: tables , file type: ODS, file size: 32 KB
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