Education & Family

Guide: Primary league tables

School league tables are produced every year from official data published by the government on pupils' achievement in England. The tables can be used as a means of informing choices, but do not tell you everything about a school. These are the measures the BBC is using this year.


Sats are the popular name given to the national curriculum tests that pupils sit in the final year of primary school. Much of the attainment data in the tables comes from these externally-marked tests. Children sit these tests in English and maths in Year 6.

The figures in the tables relate to all local authority-maintained mainstream primary and middle schools. They do not include special schools, pupil referral units, hospital schools or private schools.


Level 4 is the standard most children are expected to get in their Sats tests.

Schools where less than 60% of children attained Level 4 are considered by the government to be underperforming. However, ministers exclude schools where pupils are making sufficient progress, even if their attainment is low.


Pupils gaining Level 5 in both their maths and English Sats are considered to have exceeded expectations for their age. They will have reached the level of achievement expected of a 14-year-old.

The government also gives figures for the proportion of pupils in each school attaining Level 5 in maths and English separately. These can be found on the individual school pages published by the Department for Education (DfE).


The progress measure shows the proportion of pupils whose attainment rose by at least two levels between the end of Key Stage 1 - end of Year 2, aged 7 - and the end of Key Stage 2 - the top year of primary school, aged 11. They are published separately for maths and English by the DfE.


This is the average point per pupil in Sats tests on the two subjects of English and maths. The BBC tables are using this as a tie break measure in tables where it ranks the best and worst performing schools, the performance of local authorities and the schools where the most pupils attain Level 5. It includes the results of all pupils, not just those gaining Level 4, and is therefore a fuller measure of school attainment.


The letters SS signify a small school, with fewer than six pupils eligible to take the tests. They are included in the alphabetical lists for completeness, but no results are published for them.


If N/A appears in any of the results columns, it can mean a number of things. This includes the school being a new school with no eligible pupils or one with no pupils at the end of Key Stage 2. It can also mean results were not published for the year in question or that test results were unavailable for reasons beyond the school's control. It can also mean that there is a maladministration investigation under way.


Ministers agree it is unfair for schools to be judged on the results of children who have arrived recently from overseas and whose first language is not English, so the schools can choose to omit these pupils from the eligible number in the performance tables.

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