More than 1,300 primary schools fail to meet minimum attainment target
Children in 1,310 primary schools across England are failing to meet the government's minimum target for attainment, according to the Department for Education's new league tables.
The tables, which rank more than 16,000 schools, are based on the results of Key Stage 2 tests taken by 11-year-olds this May.
They reveal that 150 primary schools have been below the government’s so-called floor target for five consecutive years, while one in 10 boys leaves primary school with the reading age of a seven-year-old.
In Derby, Torbay, Plymouth and Wakefield between 23 and 24 per cent of primary schools fall below the government’s target, but in the London boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Havering no primary school is deemed to be underperforming.
The percentage of children achieving the attainment targets in both English and maths rose by one percentage point to 74 per cent this year. But the proportion of children achieving anything above that level fell by three per cent in English and by eight per cent in reading.
The government pledged to target the weakest primary schools in a bid to turn around "chronic underperformance", by converting them into sponsored academies in many cases.
Children’s minister Sarah Teather said the pupil premium would also help raise attainment.
"From April next year, schools will be allocated an extra £600 a year for every child who has been on free school meals at some point in the past six years to raise their attainment and help them catch up those from wealthier backgrounds," she said.
"The chasm between the attainment of rich and poor must be closed – 58 per cent of children on free school meals or in care achieved the expected level in English and maths by the end of the primary school but 78 per cent of their peers did so."