Pupil achievements 'a credit to teachers'
New figures on pupils' achievements in Curriculum for Excellence have been welcomed by the EIS, but Tories have described them as "grim"
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New data based on teacher judgements of pupils has shown that between 72 per cent and 87 per cent of primary pupils are achieving relevant levels in literacy and numeracy.
The Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Levels report looks at the performance of pupils in P1, P4, P7 and S3 in reading, writing, listening and talking, and numeracy.
The percentage of pupils achieving the CfE level relevant for their stage was highest in listening and talking and lowest for writing in the primary stages.
Across all primary stages, around 85 per cent of pupils achieved the expected CfE level for their relevant stage in listening and talking, at least 75 per cent for numeracy and reading and more than 70 per cent for writing.
However, the performance gap between pupils from the most and least deprived areas generally widens throughout the primary stages.
At S3, the performance gap between pupils from the most and least deprived areas was 10 to 12 per cent for reading, writing and listening and talking, while the gap for numeracy was 14 per cent.
The Scottish Tories have described the figures as “grim”, saying it is not good enough that three in every ten children who leave primary school are doing so without hitting the required levels of literacy.
Shadow education secretary Liz Smith said: “Notwithstanding a very welcome rise in teacher numbers, there remain some grim statistics which will make worrying reading for parents and teachers right across Scotland.
“The fact that one in three pupils is leaving primary school without reaching basic standards in literacy is the main worry.
“These literacy figures aren’t just bad news for the prospects of youngsters, but bad for the future economy too.”
But Education Secretary John Swinney has welcomed the report.
He said: "These positive figures demonstrate the impact of our investment in schools and in teachers.
"There is an increased proportion of primary pupils assessed as achieving the expected levels of Curriculum for Excellence by up to four percentage points.
“This coincides with the first year of our £120 million Pupil Equity Fund. While it is too early to draw direct conclusions from this data, I am encouraged to see the attainment gap has also narrowed slightly.”
The EIS has also praised the figures, describing them as “a good news story for Scottish education”.
General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “These impressive levels of achievement are a credit to the hard work of pupils and teachers across Scotland.
“This success also demonstrates that, despite soaring workload and declining pay, Scotland’s teachers are still going the extra mile to deliver a high-quality learning experience for the young people in our schools.
“Scotland’s teachers continue to provide great value to Scottish education, so it is time for local and national government to properly value teachers.”
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It is the largest survey of its type to be carried out in Scotland this decade.