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Primary Education

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the change in standards of reading and literacy in primary schools since 1979; and to what causes he attributes such change.

There is at present insufficient evidence on which to base reliable conclusions about changes in the reading standards of younger primary pupils over the past decade. However, the introduction of the national curriculum and its associated testing arrangements at ages seven and 11 will provide reliable information for the future. My right hon. and learned Friend yesterday announced the results from the first round of these tests for seven-year-olds in 1991.