UK hails record exam results for British teenagers
LONDON, Mar 30 (Reuters) British teenagers achieved record results in last year's key stage 3 exams, the government said today.
The Department for Education said results in the 2005 exams in English, mathematics and science, taken by pupils at the age of 14, had shown significant increases across the board.
''These results are a testament to the hard work of pupils and the professionalism of teachers and support staff,'' schools minister Jacqui Smith said.
''They show that real progress is being made in our ambitions towards ensuring that all people are secure in the basic skills of literacy and numeracy.'' A report by MPs in January said that Britain had lower levels of literacy and numeracy skills than many of its international competitors despite the government spending billions of pounds on raising standards.
The schools standards watchdog Ofsted said in a separate report last December that schools were not doing enough to ensure pupils were achieving necessary skills in maths and English.
Thursday's results showed 74 percent of pupils had reached the target level in English, up 3 percent from 2004 and the biggest rise since 1998, the government said.
Science results were up 4 percent from the year before, the biggest increase since 2001, with 66 percent hitting the required target while maths results were up one percent to 74 percent.
REUTERS SK RN0600