Welsh Pupils Behind Rest of UK

A new report has revealed that schoolchildren in Wales are struggling in English lessons.

Schools inspectorate Estyn says that although standards among pupils aged between 7 and 14 are generally high, there’s concerns about things like spelling, grammar and punctuation.

The report claims that in lessons children speak clearly and respond well to different texts, but writing needs to improve.

It also says there’s a clear gap between youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds and their other classmates.

Ann Keane who’s Chief Inspector at the body says:

“Reading and writing are the key to success in all areas of the curriculum.

“Despite the improving trend in the standards of English, the rate of progress is still too slow for 7-14 year-olds in Wales to catch-up with other areas of the UK”.

Teachers have also been criticised for poor marking and not helping children improve.

Education Minister Huw Lewis said:

"Improvements need to be made, particularly in relation to standards of writing and the performance of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Estyn's comments about poor quality marking and feedback also need to be addressed. This is not good enough and has to change.

"The challenge now is to raise standards across the board by taking on the recommendations in this report and by learning from those schools where best practice is being observed. Our Literacy Programme, which includes the Literacy and Numeracy Framework and National Reading Tests will help ensure that the encouraging improvements that have been observed continue in the years ahead".       

Estyn’s revealed three schools came out on top in their study: Glan Usk Primary School in Newport, Flint High School in Flintshire and Ysgol y Faenol in Gwynedd.