Rural England

Educational attainment at age 11

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • In 2010, around two-fifths of pupils in rural districts who were eligible for free school meals do not achieve basic standards in literacy and numeracy (i.e. level 4 in the Key Stage 2 tests).  This compares with 15% (girls) and 20% (boys) for those not eligible for free school meals.
  • The rural proportions for those not eligible for free school meals are similar to their urban counterparts.  The proportions for those eligible for free school meals are a bit higher than those for their urban counterparts.
  • Among those eligible for free school meals, somewhat fewer girls do not achieve basic standards in literacy and numeracy than boys but the differences are relatively small.
  • See the UK indicator on results at Key Stage 2.

Rural/urban ratios (urban = 10)

On most poverty and social exclusion indicators, rural areas have ‘better scores’ than urban areas.  The purpose of the table below is to differentiate between those subjects where rural areas are ‘a bit better’ and those where rural areas are ‘a lot better’.  It does so by presenting the rural statistics for the indicator as a proportion of the urban statistics.  So, for example, a rural ‘score’ of 6 in the table below means that the rural statistic is around 60% of its urban equivalent.

Type of district Eligible for free school meals Not eligible for free school meals
Boys Girls Boys Girls
'Very rural' districts12 12 10 10
'Mostly rural' districts11 11 10 9
'Part rural' districts12 12 10 9

Definitions and data sources

The graphs

For each type of local authority district, the graph shows the proportion of children who do not achieve level 4 at key stage 2 (average for English and maths).  The data is shown separately by gender and eligibility for free school meals.

Rural-urban designations are based on the home addresses of the pupils and not on the location of the schools they attend.

Since entitlement to free school meals is essentially restricted to families in receipt of out-of-work benefits, this should be thought of as a proxy for worklessness rather than low income.

Level of the data

Lower tier local authorities (districts), as classified by the DEFRA 2009 classification system.  Both the DEFRA classification rules and their results by local authority can be found on the page on rural/urban classification systems.

Source

The English National Pupil Database.  The data is for maintained schools only (i.e. it excludes independent schools).  Note that around a quarter of all schools boycotted the key stage 2 tests in 2010 and the results from these schools are therefore not included in the graph.

The numbers

Type of district Eligible for free school meals Not eligible for free school meals
Boys Girls Boys Girls
'Very rural' districts44% 37% 19% 15%
'Mostly rural' districts42% 36% 19% 14%
'Part rural' districts44% 38% 19% 14%
Urban districts38% 32% 20% 15%