The most recent Scottish Survey of Literacy has discovered that 47 per cent of S2 (2nd year of high school) boys were doing well in literacy, or were working beyond the level they were being assessed at, a fall of 58 per cent since 2012.
Similarly, the percentage of girls whose literacy was of a higher standard than they were being assessed at fell from 70 per cent to 63 per cent in the same two-year period, from 2012 to 2014.
Of the children in deprived areas, 41 per cent of S2 pupils were said to be performing well, very well or beyond their level, in literacy. This represents a decrease of 54 per cent since 2012.
In the areas which were least deprived, the performance levels amongst S2 pupils also dropped from 74 per cent in 2012, to 64 per cent in 2014.
Of all the S2 pupils, 55 per cent were said to be doing well or better at writing, a decrease from 64 per cent in 2012.
Performance in reading also saw a decrease, with 80 per cent of S2 pupils doing well or very well, down from 84 per cent in 2012.
Primary schools also saw a decrease in performance amongst their pupils, with 78 per cent of P4 (4th year of primary school) pupils and 88 per cent of P7 (7th year of primary school) pupils reading well or very well, as opposed to 83 per cent and 90 per cent in 2012, respectively.
Angela Constance, Scottish Education Secretary, has promised action from the Government following the results. She said of the findings:
“They demonstrate the need to redouble efforts to ensure that every child can succeed in school and so gain the skills they need for life.”
General Secretary of the EIS teaching union, Larry Flanagan said that the survey provided a “useful snapshot of standards in schools”, and went on to say of the findings:
“Whilst it is important to analyse these findings and learn any lessons, the EIS is very clear that particular challenges remain for schools, teachers and pupils.
“For example, we have seen a drop in teacher numbers, a rise in class numbers, teacher workload at an unsustainable level and restrictive budget cuts reducing resources.”
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