The last 11-year-olds in Wales required to take national tests have turned in a better set of results than the cohort of 2003.
Maths Sats results were up three percentage points to 78 per cent, achieving the expected level for their age, with Welsh and science up slightly and English holding steady at 79 per cent, according to figures released this week.
Next year key stage 2 Sats will be optional if proposals arising from the Daugherty review of testing, and currently out for consultation, are given the go-ahead. Primary teachers will then have a two-year, test-free gap during which to prepare for the introduction of new skills tests for Year 5 pupils from 20067.
Sats results for 14-year-olds were up slightly for English, unchanged in Welsh, and up 3 and 4 percentage points respectively in maths and science to 71 and 74 per cent.
KS3 Sats will become optional in the summer of 2006, when teacher assessment alone will be used to judge pupil and school performance.
Brian Rowlands, secretary of the Secondary Heads' Association Cymru, said:
"We welcome the successes at KS3 Sats, with the continued improvement in science a particularly pleasing result. We look forward to the anticipated assessment reforms, which will enable teachers to concentrate on the learning process and the needs of pupils rather than simply teaching to the tests."
Teacher assessments for this summer's seven-year-olds were up slightly on last year, with girls outperforming boys by 10.5 percentage points in English and 4 percentage points in maths and science.
A consultation paper on abolishing KS2 and KS3 Sats and the introduction of skills tests for Year 5 pupils was published this week. Responses are required by October 22. See www.learning.wales.gov.uk