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Brighter picture in Aberdeen

Primary 1 pupils in Aberdeen are overall doing better each year in reading and mathematics, a four-year analysis of early intervention strategies shows.

The city conducts standardised tests on entry to P1 and at the end of the first year and is able to highlight steady improvement in attainment since 1999.

But performance continues to differ between pupils with a clothing grant and those without. John Stodter, education director, said: "There is still a gap between the disadvantaged and their peers but it is not getting any bigger."

The complex picture of attainment, based on Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (PIPS) tests, shows that teachers have succeeded in narrowing the difference in performance in reading and maths despite an apparent increase in deprivation in city housing schemes.

Children in areas of high disadvantage returned lower baseline scores in reading and maths in 2002-03 and made slower progress.

Results also reveal that girls start with higher average reading scores and make faster progress. The push on reading has widened the gap between girls and boys. In maths, boys and girls start the same although boys are ahead by the end of P1 but not by much.

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