Lindsey Wardle: “Understanding patterns and trends in reading attainment during transition from primary to secondary school: what do PISA, PIRLS and the National Pupil Database tell us about North East England?”

In Students by General Account

This study will address the question: what factors determine reading attainment in North East England? Good literacy skills are correlated with improved attainment across the curriculum, and in the English education system increasing importance is being placed on reading. In North East England, attainment in primary school is highest in the country along with London, but it is lowest by the end of secondary school. Why is this the case?

There are some examples of initiatives in the region which have identified literacy as an issue, including Opportunity North East, Read North East and the North East Primary Literacy Campaign. But for these kind of campaigns to be effective, it is important to know the underlying reasons for current trends in reading attainment. For example, some analyses of recent GCSE data suggest that when deprivation is accounted for, attainment in various parts of the country improves. Other factors which I will be considering include: where pupils go to secondary school and whether they move out of the region or the state sector; access to specialist teachers; and funding. I will be using both national and international data to complete this study.