'Bias in favour of girls occurs in all subjects and all years'By MRA-UK: In 2014 I published “The Trouble with Boys in Education”. In it I showed how published SATS results at Key Stage 2 (11 year olds) contained clear indication of teacher bias against boys. The data extended to year 2013. Here I repeat the exercise using more recent data, up to 2016. The data up to 2015 can be found here, and that for 2016 here.
Until 2015 the KS2 SATS results were expressed as an attainment ‘level’ of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. Level 5 was the expected attainment at age 11, whereas Level 6 was a superior score. Level 4 was OK, but a little below the target attainment, whilst Levels 2 and 3 were seriously below expectation.
The KS2 SATS comprised of both tests and teacher assessments. The comparison of the two provides an opportunity to examine teacher bias.
All the results used here refer to the total pupils at the Level in question, summed over all schools in England, expressed as a percentage of the total cohort size of the same sex.
Figure 1 shows the results of the reading test, in the form of the percentage of the cohort which scored (i) Level 4 or above, and (ii) Level 5 or above. Figure 2 is the equivalent based on teacher assessment. (The teacher assessment for reading has been used from 2012 onwards, but the teacher assessment for “English” prior to that year, there being no separate reading assessment before 2012). Girls do consistently better than boys at reading, in both Figures, but the gender gap is clearly larger for the teacher assessment.