Absentees marked as failures

6th March 1998 at 00:00
Children who didn't turn up for last summer's English tests are deemed to have failed, the Government confirmed this week, writes Nicholas Pyke.

Ministers will not discount absentees when attempting to hit their literacy targets. Nor will they remove pupils with learning difficulties from their figures.

Stephen Byers, the school standards minister, said that 80 per cent of all 11-year-olds should be reading and writing at level 4 by 2002.

This is despite the fact that as many as 7 per cent of last summer's 11-year-olds did not even take the English tests.

At least 3 per cent were counted as "absent" while 4 per cent were not entered in the first place. Many of these will have special educational needs, often functioning at level 2.

In a letter to The TES this week, Mr Byers reveals that 68 per cent of all 11-year-olds hit level 4 in reading and 54 per cent in writing.

But when the absentees and children with special needs are removed, the success rate increases to 72 per cent for reading and 58 per cent for writing.

Letters, page 23

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now