Year 7 pupils make more progress in maths than English

The Tes reports that a study finds pupils improve by about two thirds of a GCSE grade in maths during Year 7, but only a third of a grade in English

The study found that while on average pupils made absolute progress in both subjects, 42 per cent of students in English and 37 per cent in maths “stood still or regressed”.

Researchers from the assessment software company No More Marking set out to examine whether pupils made “absolute progress” in Year 7.

The key accountability measure currently used in secondary schools, Progress 8, is a relative measure of progress. It looks at how pupils perform relative to their cohort on a baseline test, and then compares this to how they did relative to their cohort on a second test.

However, this means it cannot be used to tell whether the whole system is improving or not. It is also not a direct measure of how much pupils have learnt, meaning a pupil can learn a lot but still be given a negative progress measure if they have not learnt as much as pupils who started at the same point as them.

The researchers said the average was also “distributed unevenly”, with some pupils making “very significant progress, whilst others go backwards”.

In both subjects 10 per cent of pupils saw their score fall by the equivalent of two GCSE grades. However, in English 18 per cent saw their score improve by the same amount, while 25 per cent did so in maths.

Read more Year 7 pupils make more progress in maths than English

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