Commenting on the publication of National Reading and Literacy test scores for May 2013, Angela Burns AM, Shadow Minister for Education, said:
"While I welcome the publication of these results, there is scope to introduce narrower bands to reflect a greater breadth of pupil performance to highlight where our education system can improve.
"These results show that there remains a persistent gender gap, mirroring outcomes in successive GCSE and A Level results.
"The noticeable decline in high reading and numeracy scores between primary and secondary school years reaffirms the need to bridge the gap by introducing a new middle phase, which could smooth the transition between schools.
"The previous Education Minister promised to review the methodology behind these tests to make them more accessible to pupils with special educational needs and I hope his successor will keep this pledge. We must ensure we are assessing students’ skills and knowledge and not simply the ability to sit a test.
"I hope the Minister will reflect and listen to the views of teachers and parents to consider how these tests can be made more accessible and the results easier to measure against expected outcomes."