Latest Public Sector News

15.12.11

Primary schools failing basic English and maths

Over 1,000 primary schools are failing to reach official targets for teaching basic English and maths, league tables demonstrate, based on the results of tests taken in May.

A third of pupils failed to achieve the expected level four at age 11 in reading, writing and maths combined, although the overall proportion of children achieving the expected level in England has improved from last year, up 2% for English and 1% for maths.

Underperforming schools could face a change of management by being converted into academies, or having to merge with a successful school nearby. The weakest 200 are set to be placed under new management as academies next year.

The local authorities with the highest proportion of struggling primary schools are Derby (24%), Torbay (23%) and Plymouth (23%). In two London boroughs – Hammersmith & Fulham and Havering – none of the primaries are below the floor standard.

A school is judged to be below the ‘floor standard’ if it is below average for the progress pupils make between the ages of five and 11. About 150 schools have been below the floor standard for five consecutive years, according to these figures.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “Today’s figures reveal on a school-by-school basis the high academic standards achieved by thousands of primary schools in this country.

“But 1,310 schools are today shown to be below the floor – and about 150 have been languishing with poor standards for five years in a row. It is these schools that we will pay particular attention to in the year ahead, whether through conversion to a sponsored academy or other measures.”

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