Reading levels questioned

20th April 2001 at 01:00
New research has cast doubt on Labour's claims that the national literacy strategy has dramatically improved children's reading levels. Key stage 2 English scores have gone up by 10 per cent in two years. Three-quarters of children reached the expected level in 2000, well on course for the 2002 target of 80 per cent. The rise is almost entirely accounted for by improvements in reading test performance.

However, Mary Hilton, senior lecturer at Homerton College,Cambridge, claims that between 1998 and 2000 the number of questions demanding that pupils simply repeat answers contained in the text increased, while the number of questions requiring pupils to use higher-order reading skills markedly decreased.

Ms Hilton said: "These changes have made the reading tests progressively easier. Testing procedures could be disguising a fall in reading standards as the national literacy strategy begins to take effect."

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