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About us > News > Press Release: Basic Skills Quality Mark 'a positive contribution to teaching'
Press Release: Basic Skills Quality Mark 'a positive contribution to teaching'

An evaluation report published by Estyn, the Education and Training inspectorate for Wales, suggests that the Basic Skills Agency Quality Mark “makes a positive contribution to the teaching of basic skills in primary and secondary schools”.

The report, ‘An evaluation of the contribution of the Basic Skills Quality Mark award to the standards and quality of literacy in primary and secondary schools in Wales’ was commissioned by the National Assembly for Wales.

In the report, Estyn says that: “In primary schools… standards of pupils’ key skills, overall, are higher in schools with the Quality Mark”. Estyn also found that staff in secondary schools “believed that working to gain the award had helped to improve pupils’ standards of literacy and numeracy”, with improvements such as under-attaining pupils moving up to higher ability sets.

Alan Wells, the Director of the Basic Skills Agency, said,

‘It’s encouraging that an independent review of the Quality Mark is so encouraging. There’s no easy way to raise standards but if all schools meet this minimum standard in teaching these crucial basic skills no child or young person will be left behind.’


Notes to Editors

1. The findings in the report are based on an analysis of the inspection outcomes of 300 schools during 2003-2004 and information gained from interviews with senior managers and representatives from four local education authorities.

2. The Quality Mark is a key element of the Welsh Assembly Government’s National Basic Skills Strategy. The second phase of the Assembly’s National Strategy – Words Talk - Numbers Count – was launched in April 2005.

3. Almost 90% of primary schools and 80% of secondary schools in Wales hold the Quality Mark and the target is that all schools in Wales will reach the standard required in 2005.

4. The Basic Skills Agency – a Government funded national organisation working at arms length from government – is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the National Strategy on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.

5. Estyn is the office of Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales. It is independent of, but funded by, the National Assembly for Wales under Section 104 of the Government of Wales Act 1998. The Chief Inspector and her staff are civil servants. The full Estyn report is available on their website at

6. For further information please contact Dilys Alam at the Basic Skills Agency on 020 7440 6618 or email For out of hours media enquiries please call 07799 643972.
Article published on: 14 July 2005
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