THE survey also analysed contrasts between the two upper stages, over time and by gender.
The results show that, despite the problems in S2, pupils performed "significantly better" than in P7 on all the reading and writing tasks they were set.
Since the previous English survey in 1995, there was virtually no change or only small gains. Pupils' writing in P7 was 5 per cent better than three years ago and was the most significant improvement, particularly in personal and imaginative writing.
But S2 pupils were only 1 per cent ahead of their 1995 counterparts, although functional and imaginative writing had "improved significantly".
The problem with boys (page five) continues as girls consistently outperformed them in both reading and writing. The report notes that "the differences seem to increase with age".