The primary school performance tables give information on school performance for pupils at the end of key stage 2 (ks2) of the national curriculum, showing how KS2 results compare with other schools in a local authority area and in England as a whole. They also provide information on pupil absence, school finance, school workforce and Ofsted inspection results.

If you are a new user of the performance tables, please refer to How to use the website for guidance.

KS2 national curriculum tests

National tests, taken at the end of key stage 2 (ks2), give a snapshot of a pupil's attainment in the core subjects.

At the end of ks2, pupils are tested in reading, mathematics and English grammar, punctuation and spelling. There are also sample tests in science which schools are required to participate in if selected. Writing results are provided via teacher assessment at the end of ks2.

The end of key stage tests give an independent and nationally standardised measure of how pupils and schools are performing compared with national standards in the core subjects.

Pupils are awarded test ‘levels’ in each of reading, mathematics and grammar, punctuation and spelling. These can be anything from level 2 to level 6 and are based on marks achieved in tests at the end of key stage 2 eg. in 2015, to achieve a level 4 in mathematics, pupils needed to score between 46 and 78 marks.

Writing is assessed in school by teachers, based on their observation of performance in internal tests and activities. It is not formally tested in the same way as the other subjects, and results are reported as a level ie. there are no marks as you would have for a test.

Most pupils should reach at least level 4 in each subject at the end of key stage 2. Using the following table you can compare your child's test result against the minimum expected level for their age group.

Age 7 years 11 years
Key Stage KS1 KS2
Level 5
Level 4
Level 3
Level 2a, 2b, 2c
Level 1

Beyond expectations
At level expected
Below expectations

Teacher assessments

Throughout the year, teachers assess their pupils' progress in each subject as a normal part of their teaching. The teacher decides which level best describes a pupil's performance in each area of learning in that subject. They must report their assessments in English, reading, writing, mathematics and science when pupils reach the end of each key stage. The performance tables give a school level summary of these assessments.

National key stage 2 test results

The 2015 key stage 2 national curriculum assessment results show pupils’ continued improvement in attainment in most subjects. Grammar, punctuation and spelling test results have increased by 4 percentage points. Writing and mathematics increased by 2 percentage points and 1 percentage point respectively. Attainment has continued to rise. 80% of pupils achieved level 4 or above in all of reading, writing and mathematics, compared to 78% in 2014.

Content of the primary school performance tables

The tables show for each school:

  • background including name, address and telephone number
  • key stage 2 results including attainments and pupil’s progress from key stage 1 to key stage 2. The results by pupil groups are also provided.
  • teacher assessments (carried out just before national curriculum tests) of their pupils’ levels of attainment in reading, writing, mathematics and science.
  • information on pupil absence measured by rates of overall pupil absence and persistent absence.
  • information on schools’ income and expenditure for the financial year 2014-15
  • statistics relating to teachers and school workforce
  • schools’ most recent Ofsted inspection grade, the date on which the inspection took place and links to their Ofsted reports.

Changes for 2016

In 2016, there will be a number of changes to how children are assessed, tested and their outcomes reported at the end of key stage 2. Information on these changes can be found at, and we will provide details of how this impacts on performance tables when we publish our annual Statement of Intent during summer term.

How to interpret the primary school performance measures

The performance tables publish a wide range of measures, covering many different aspects of school performance. However, these measures cannot cover all aspects of each school and its pupil’s achievements. For example, schools may be achieving in a number of areas outside of performance tables measures, such as the personal and social development of pupils or the quality of the teaching. The tables should be considered alongside other important sources of information such as Ofsted reports and information from schools and colleges themselves.

School performance may be affected by a number of factors such as the prior attainment and socio-economic background of the school’s intake, school size and type, teaching quality and school governance.

The primary performance tables contain a range of measures about school performance. You need to look at more than one measure to gain insight into different aspects of school performance. You should also take school context into account when using these measures to compare different schools. Please refer to the “How to interpret school performance measures” section for more information.

Key users

The primary school performance measures are used by wide range of users. Parents often look at the school performance measures and other information to help them choose a school for their child or children or to help them understand the performance of the school their child is attending.

The government uses the performance measures to monitor the overall attainment of pupils and schools in England. The Department for Education also applies ‘floor standards’ to identify schools where intervention is needed to bring up standards to an acceptable level.

The performance measures used in these floor standards are:

  • the percentage of pupils at the end of Key Stage 2 (ks2) achieving level 4 or above in all of reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress measures in each of these subjects

More information on the floor standards can be found in the Expected levels of school and college performance (floor standards) section.

More information on how other users use the performance tables can be found in the Key users section.

Other resources

For other resources relating to national trends, Ofsted, and school performance in devolved administrations, please follow the link.