Ministers are convinced that league tables are galvanising schools into improvement. Heads are equally convinced that changes in pupil intake mean that results will fluctuate from year to year whatever a school does. Today's tables show that many schools have improved dramatically since the publication of the first primary league tables last year.
Nationally, just over six out of 10 pupils reached the expected standard in English and maths and nearly seven out of 10 in science. Results were up on last year by six, eight and seven per cent respectively.
Last year's 10 lowest-scoring schools all move up the table. Some have made huge progress. Mellers school in Nottingham, where last year scores in English, maths and science were 17, 0 and 6, this year achieved 58, 83 and 83. Eileen Tiplady, the head, said: "We don't regard this as an improvement but just different statistics. One year's intake is so different from the next that you can't make comparisons."
In Birmingham, three schools in last year's bottom 20 made great strides. St Joseph's School in Nechells, for instance, increased its score from a total of 21 for the three subjects to one of 144 in performance from year to year.
Sir John Cass's Foundation School in the Corporation of London saw its score rise from 120 to 237 and the authority, which has only one school, secured second place in the local authority table on the strength of the school's improvement.
Four of the 15 schools where all pupils last year achieved the scores expected of an 11-year-olds in English, maths and science, were able to repeat their performance this year. Heads pointed out that the absence of just one pupil meant the automatic loss of the 100 per cent score because the tables do not take absence into account.
Thirty-nine schools out of around 14,500 saw all their pupils reach Level 4, the expected standard for an 11-year-old in all three subjects.
Rutland, with 18 schools heads the local authority table, with Richmond upon Thames, Bury and Surrey coming third, fourth and fifth. Newham, Hackney and Sandwell scored lowest. Church schools dominate the top of the tables as they did last year.
The Government is not publishing performance tables for primary schools this year but is requiring local authorities to publish them. The tables in The Independent for 125 of the 132 local authorities have been compiled by the Press Association. Last Friday was the deadline given by the Government to local authorities for publishing results.
Estelle Morris, the schools' minister, said yesterday: "Performance tables are important in our drive to raise standards. They help schools to monitor progress and set targets for improvement."
The best and the worst
Schools scoring 100 per cent in English, maths and science
Badger Hill Primary, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Cleveland
Chuddingstone CE Primary, Edenbridge, Kent
Culworth End CE Primary, Banbury, Northamptonshire
Daresbury County Primary, Warrington
Deer Park Primary, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Duddon St Peter's CE, Tarporley, Cheshire
English Martyrs, RC Primary, Oakham, Rutland
Flamborough CE Primary, Bridlington, Humberside
Henley school, Ipswich, Suffolk
Horspath CE Primary, Oxford
Kinnerley CE Primary, Oswestry, Shropshire
Lady E Hastings CE (GM) primary, Castleford, Leeds
Ley Hill County Combined, Chesham, Buckinghamshire
Little Horsted CE Primary, Uckfield, East Sussex
Lower Halstow Primary, Sittingbourne, Kent
Mission Primary, Doncaster
Oakridge Primary, Stafford
Our Lady of Victories, Wandsworth, London
Our Lady of Victories RC primary, Hammersmith, London
Ramsbury School, Marlborough, Wiltshire
Rivington Primary, Bolton, Lancashire
Rough Close CE Primary, Stoke-on-Trent
Shenington CE GM, Banbury
Silkstone Primary, Barnsley
St Chad's CE, Leeds
St Charles Borromeo RC, Weybridge
St Edmund Campion RC Primary, Nottingham
St Gregory's RC South Shields, South Tyneside
St Joseph's RC Wetherby, Yorkshire
St Michael's Bamford CE Heywood, Rochdale
St Paul's RC Blackburn, Lancashire
St Teresa's RC Thornton, Cleveleys
The Havergal CE Wolverhampton
The London Oratory, Hammersmith, London
The Sacred Heart, Ilkley, Bradford
Vernham Dean Gillums CE Andover, Hampshire
Wadsworth Old Town, Hebden Bridge, Calderdale
Walgrave Primary, Northampton
Witnesham City Primary, Ipswich, Suffolk
Ten lowest-scoring schools
Arnhem Wharf Primary,Tower Hamlets, London
Ashby Mill Primary, Lambeth, London
Heron Cross, Stoke-on-Trent
Hither Green Primary, Lewisham, London
Oakenrod City Primary, Rochdale
Vauxhall Junior Mixed & Infants, Lambeth, London
Watling Middle School, Milton Keynes
Webster Pimary, Manchester
Western Primary, Grimsby
All schools in alphabetical