About this report

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.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 refers to the curriculum taught to pupils between the ages of 11 and 14. The general expectation is that the majority of 14 year olds will attain Level 5.

This chart shows the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level at Key Stage 3 fell in all subjects in 2019.

Between 2015 and 2018, the percentage of pupils achieving Level 5+ increased steadily in most subjects, but then fell in 2019 in all subjects.

In 2019 the percentage of pupils achieving Level 5+ varied from 83.2% in Welsh second language to 93.2% in Information and communication technology (ICT).

Between 2018 and 2019 Art and design had the largest fall (2.1 percentage points) whilst ICT had the smallest fall (0.6 percentage points).

Although the percentage of pupils achieving level 5+ was lower in 2019 than in 2017 or 2018, it was higher than in 2015.

This chart shows that girls achievement was higher than boys in all subjects at Key Stage 3 in 2019.

The percentage of girls achieving Level 5+ was higher than boys in all subjects in 2019. The gap ranged from 1.9 percentage points in Physical education to 11.5(r) percentage points in Welsh second language.

The gap between girls and boys generally narrowed between 2010 and 2018. In 2019 the gap has increased for most subjects, but is smaller than it was in 2015.

View all Key Stage 3 non-core subject statistics on StatsWales.

(r) revised on 12 August 2019.

Key Stage 2

Key Stage 2 refers to the curriculum taught to pupils between the ages of 7 and 11. The general expectation is that the majority of 11 year olds will attain Level 4.

Welsh second language is the only non-core subject that data is collected for at Key Stage 2.

This chart shows that girls achievement in Welsh Second Language at Key Stage 2 was higher than boys throughout the period 2011 to 2019.

The percentage of pupils achieving Level 4+ in Welsh second language increased each year from 2011 to 2018, but fell by 0.4 percentage points in 2019, to 80.9%.

Girls’ achievement was higher than boys throughout the period. The gap has narrowed slightly overall since 2011. In 2019 the gap was 10.4 percentage points.

This chart shows more girls than boys achieved level 4 and above in Welsh Second Language in 2019.

A slightly higher percentage of boys than girls achieved Level 4. But 34.9% of girls achieved Level 5+, compared with 21.8% of boys.

Notes

Context

Policy/Operational

All learners in their final year of Key Stages 2 and 3 must be assessed through teacher assessments. Head teachers are responsible for reporting results for all learners on their school roll as at the second Tuesday in May; this is known as the ‘specified date on roll’. In 2019, the date for this was 14 May.

Statutory assessment arrangements for the school year September 2018 to August 2019.

The National Curriculum subjects in Wales are split into two categories, core subjects and non-core subjects.

The core subjects are:

  • English
  • Welsh first language
  • Mathematics
  • Science.

The non-core subjects are:

  • Art and design
  • Design and technology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information and communication technology
  • Modern foreign languages
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Welsh second language.

External verification programme for teacher assessment

On 18 May 2015, the Minister for Education and Skills gave a statement on Securing reliability and consistency of Teacher Assessment in Wales: External Verification Programme. From 2016, there is the possibility that improved rigour in teacher assessment will lead to an impact on the distribution of National Curriculum Levels awarded. The programme of external verification has now ceased.

Successful Futures: Independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales

In March 2014 Professor Graham Donaldson was asked to conduct a fundamental review of curriculum and assessment arrangements from Foundation Phase to Key Stage 4. In the report published in February 2015, Professor Donaldson made 68 wide-ranging recommendations to improve the curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales. This independent review will have a significant impact on assessment arrangements and the publication of official statistics.

Successful Futures: Independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales

Related publications

Academic achievement of pupils aged 4 to 14 in core subjects: 2019 was released on 7 August 2019.

Data source

The National Data Collection (NDC) is the electronic collection of teacher assessment data at end of Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2 and 3. Data is sent by schools to Knowledge and Analytical Services within the Welsh Government care of their local authority LA).

NDC data collection information for 2019

Definitions

Coverage

Most learners will be 11 or 14 years old at the end of Key Stage 2 and 3 respectively. It is possible that some may be older or younger and some may be taught in a class where the majority of learners are of a different age. For each Key Stage, learners must be statutorily assessed (i.e. they must receive an end of Key Stage teacher assessment) once only.

From 2010 schools were able to provide Key Stage 2 results for Welsh second language.

Expected levels

Key Stage 2: the general expectation is that the majority of 11 year olds will attain Level 4 in each subject.

Key Stage 3: similarly, 14 year olds will attain Level 5.

‘D’ (Disapplied) represents pupils who were exempt from all or part of the National Curriculum under sections 113-116 of the 2002 Education Act, or pupils for whom teachers were unable to provide an assessment. ‘N’ represents pupils not awarded a level for reasons other than disapplication.

In 2010, Level ‘W’ (working towards Level 1) was removed and replaced by three new valid outcomes for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 – National Curriculum Outcomes (NCO) 1, 2 and 3. These new levels have been introduced to describe achievement below Level 1. For publishing purposes, these three outcomes have been grouped together and named ‘NCO 1, 2 and 3’.

Key quality information

Provides a summary of information on this output against five dimensions of quality.

Key quality information

Contact details

Statistician: Steve Hughes
Telephone: 0300 025 5060
Email: school.stats@gov.wales

Media: 0300 025 8099

National statistics

SFR 62/2019