Fresh government data reveals Key Stage Two students have picked up worse grades than in recent years – put down to changes in the curriculum making it more difficult to pass exams.
In Portsmouth, 48 per cent of students achieved the ‘expected standard’ in reading, writing and maths, compared to the national average of 53 per cent.
While none of the city’s districts saw improvements on previous grades.
Alison Jeffery, Portsmouth City Council’s director of children’s services and education, said: ‘Results from some of our schools are encouraging with seven schools achieving above the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, and 48 per cent of Portsmouth pupils achieving the expected level.
‘However, we recognise that there are still significant improvements to be made to enable all our children to reach the educational standards and results expected of them.’ This year was the first time students were marked following government moves to toughen up the curriculum in 2014.
The way exams were marked also changed; results were not based on levels and students were instead given a ‘scaled score’ – the total number of marks a pupil scores in a test, based on the number of questions they answered correctly.
Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s Tory executive member for education, said: ‘Following the introduction of a far more rigorous curriculum in 2014, the government’s benchmark of performance has been significantly raised this year.
‘Raising the bar has meant that fewer children nationally, as well as in Hampshire, have met the new attainment level.
‘Against these new standards, Hampshire’s numbers of children achieving Age Related Expectations, or ‘ARE’, is well above the national average achieving ARE.
‘Schools are making a transition to a more rigorous system, and this means that while children are still performing at the same high level, this is not always reflected by the results.’