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Teaching Methods

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of classes in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools were set by ability at the most recent date for which figures are available. (210072)

As stated in the responses to the hon. Gentlemen’s parliamentary questions 202069 and 202073 (April 2008), data on how many lessons in England are set by ability are not currently collected. The latest period for which Ofsted data indicate the proportion of lessons in each school year which are set by ability is 2002-03.

The figures for the percentage of secondary lessons set, as observed by Ofsted, in 2002-03 were included in our reply to parliamentary question 202073. The figures for primary lessons are outlined in the following table.

Lessons in primary schools observed by Ofsted during inspections in 2002-03—percentage set by ability


Class formed on the basis of prior attainment in the subject (setted)

Year l


Year 2


Key stage 1


Year 3


Year 4


Year 5


Year 6


Key stage 2


The figures in the table have been provided by Ofsted, which is responsible for the inspection and regulation of care for children and young people, and the inspection of education and training for learners of all ages.