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English standards drop in primary schools

by: Garry Pierrepont (3 December 2009)

There has been a reduction in the numbers of schools achieving the government targets for literacy and numeracy in Englandís primary schools.

The new figures show higher numbers of primary schools across England are failing to help pupils reach the required standards in reading, writing and arithmetic.

There were 885 primary schools in England in 2009 in which more than half of the 11-year-olds failed to reach the expected level (level four) in both their English and maths, compared with 798 schools last year.

There was also a reduction in the number of schools achieving top marks in the tests. In 2008, 351 schools achieved 100 per cent level four passes, but this year the number was down to 282 primary schools.

In typical political style Schools Minister and Hull North MP Diana Johnson chose to focus on the improvements in results since 1997 when Labour came to power.

"Over the past 12 years, schools have made huge progress in raising standards and Ofsted said just last week that, in recent years, many more schools have become 'good' or 'outstanding'. This is down to the hard work of teaching professionals, Governors and local authorities coupled with record investment, and the introduction of national strategies for the three Rs that were so badly needed in the late 90s.

"The figures confirm a small dip in English this year, but results in this subject are still up from 63 per cent in 1997 to 80 per cent today, which means 98,000 more pupils are now reaching level four or above in their English test."

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