Boys lag behind girls after two school years

Boys are lagging behind girls in the basics after just two years at school, official figures showed today.









Fewer seven-year-old boys reached the standard expected of them in reading, writing, maths and science than girls of the same age.



The gap was widest in writing, with one in four boys (24.5%) failing to achieve Level 2 compared to around one in seven (13.4%) of girls - a gap of 11.1 percentage points.



In reading, 88.7% of girls achieved Level 2 - the standard expected of seven-year-olds - compared to 80.9% of boys - a gap of 7.8 percentage points.



There was a 3.3 percentage point gap in favour of girls in science, with 90.4% achieving the required level compared to 87.1% of boys.



The gap was smallest in maths, with girls ahead by three percentage points (90.8% of girls reaching Level 2 compared to 87.8% of boys).



Each of the gaps has closed marginally since last year, the Department for Education (DfE) figures show.



Today's statistics, which are for England only, are based on teachers' assessments of pupils at the end of Key Stage 1.



They are broken down by gender, ethnicity and background.



They reveal a wide gulf remains between the attainment of the poorest pupils and their richer classmates.



Schools minister Nick Gibb said it was a "real concern" that poorer children are failing to meet the expected standard in reading and writing.



In writing, a third of pupils (33.6%) eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) - a key measure of poverty - failed to reach Level 2, compared to one in six (15.5%) of other students - a gap of 18.1 percentage points.



In reading, 71.7% of FSM children achieved Level 2, compared to 87.9% of non-FSM students - a gap of 16.2 percentage points.



The figures for maths show that 79.7% of FSM pupils reached Level 2 this summer, compared to 91.7% of other pupils, while in science the figures were 78.7% and 91.3% respectively.



Mr Gibb said: "Though there is a slight increase in the proportion of seven-year-olds reaching the expected level in reading, it is a real concern that almost a third of all Key Stage 1 children receiving free school meals are failing to achieve the standard in reading and writing. Additionally, over a third of boys receiving free school meals fail to make the grade in reading and writing.



"Getting the fundamentals right is crucial to a child's success in secondary education and throughout their adult life, and the Government is committed to getting all children reading and writing to a high standard."



Ministers are promoting the use of systematic synthetic phonics in primary schools and introducing a reading test for six-year-olds to identify those who need help, Mr Gibb said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Senior Textiles / Fashion Technician

£22000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To contribute to the day-to-da...

Recruitment Genius: Health and Social Care NVQ Assessor

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: It is also essential that you p...

Recruitment Genius: ICT Infrastructure Manager

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Edinburgh city centre scho...

Recruitment Genius: Plumber

£30000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An independent boys' school sit...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test