The required standard of phonic decoding was met by 82% of Year 1 pupils in the North East, higher than England as a whole (81%) and second only to London (83%) when regions are compared.
Based on DfE statistics on phonics screening checks and KS1 assessments for 2016, the best performing Local Authority area in the North East was Darlington, with 86% of pupils reaching the required standard, with an impressive 92% of girls achieving it.
However, Middlesbrough had the lowest proportion of Y1 pupils meeting the requirements of all English LA areas in 2016 – 74%.
A higher percentage of North East pupils reached the expected standard in reading, writing, maths and science in their key stage 1 teacher assessments than in England as a whole, with the region’s pupils performing particularly well in writing.
Below are a few more interesting headlines from the DfE release:
- Black pupils in the North East (admittedly a relatively small group) were more likely to meet the expected standard of phonics decoding (86%) than pupils of any other ethnicity. The North East is the only region where black pupils outperformed all other ethnic groups.
- A higher proportion (62%) of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals reached the expected standard in reading in the North East than in any other region outside of London.
- A higher percentage (35%) of pupils receiving SEN support reached the expected standard in reading in the North East than England as a whole (32%).
- However, The North East had the lowest proportion of SEN pupils with a statement or EHC plan reaching the expected standard in reading – 9% compared to 14% in England as a whole.
- A greater proportion of the assessed Key Stage 1 pupils in the North East were at schools classified as rural (16.43%) than in England as a whole (14.82%).
- A greater proportion of pupils at “rural” North East schools reached the expected standard in reading, writing, mathematics and science than in the region’s “urban” schools.