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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Driving up school standards

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Education Standards, Languages, teachers


female pupil with pink hair sits next to teacher who appears to be explaining a piece of work

Today our blog focuses on new Key Stage 4 performance data and research being released by the department.

Performance Data

Today, Thursday 6 February, we have published Key Stage 4 performance data as well as multi-academy trust (MAT) performance data.

This portal can be used for comparing schools to one another on a regional and national basis.

The data shows that the EBacc entry rate has increased by 1.6%, taking it up to 40%, the highest since its introduction in 2010.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

The EBacc is instrumental in driving up educational standards. Overall more pupils are studying these core academic subjects than at any time since the EBacc measure was introduced and the entry rate is particularly high in our free schools.

The attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers remains stable and is down by around 9% since 2011 – but we recognise there is more to do. Multi academy trusts make a significant contribution in terms of helping disadvantaged pupils with progress rates higher than in other types of school. This is encouraging and shows the benefits that can be achieved under the leadership of a strong trust.

British Social Attitudes Survey

Today, the department will be publishing a research report titled ‘Attitudes to education: The British Social Attitudes Survey 2018’. This is a broad survey of 3,000 adults across a range of subjects including teacher workload, and the importance of teaching foreign languages at GCSE.

Nearly half of respondents (44%) said teachers were paid the right amount and 43% said teachers’ workload was about right, while the vast majority of respondents (83%) said it was important to study a foreign language GCSE at school.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

Foreign languages are not only increasingly important to a modern, global economy; they also open up opportunities for young people. It’s clear that society recognises the value in having a language qualification in later life, which is why we are working to increase language uptake in schools.

The introduction of the EBacc helped halt the decline in languages. Since 2010 the proportion of pupils studying a language at GCSE has risen from 40% to 47% in 2019. We recognise that we need to increase that further which is why we are creating a network of schools to spread best practice and introducing funding schemes like the Mandarin Excellence Programme.

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