Gove wants more as tough approach on 3Rs gets results

Number of primary schools failing to reach minimum standards has fallen radically

Michael Gove may raise primary targets after new figures showed his exacting approach to standards had succeeded in more than halving the number of schools failing to give pupils a good grounding in the three Rs.

Primary school league tables published today show the number failing to reach the Education Secretary’s minimum target of 60 per cent of pupils becoming fluent readers and good at maths by 11 has fallen from 1,310 to 476 in a year. Last night ministers were believed to be considering raising the targets to ratchet up the pressure on headteachers.

The 476 schools which failed to reach the target in national curriculum tests in maths and English now face the prospect of closure or conversion into academies.

The results show marked regional variations with 6 per cent of primary schools (89) in Yorkshire and Humberside failing while the success story is in inner London where only 1 per cent of schools (eight) failed to reach the target.

The local authorities with the biggest percentage of schools failing to reach the minimum target are Portsmouth and Nottingham (16 per cent) and Kirklees, Peterborough and Medway in Kent (11 per cent).

A Department for Education spokesman said: “The Government brought in higher primary school floor targets with one aim in mind – to drive up standards with immediate effect to end years of chronic underperformance.

“Schools with a long history of underperformance and which are not stepping up to the mark face being taken over by an academy sponsor. The expertise and strong leadership provided by sponsors is the best way to turn around weak schools and give pupils there the best chance of a first-class education.”

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said the results were “excellent news”, adding: “It shows the hard work that’s going on in the system.”

Asked about possible changes to the target, he said: “There is a danger that every time schools meet a goal they shift the posts.”

Labour’s schools spokesman Kevin Brennan added: “We should congratulate hard-working primary school pupils and teachers on these results – but still not enough schools are making the grade in the three Rs.” He warned cuts in spending could jeopardise standards by reducing one-to-one tuition for those struggling to read or add up.

The tables show 502 schools have a perfect score of every child reaching the required standard in both maths and English. The top school, with more pupils going on to a higher standard, was Newton Farm in Harrow for the second year running.

The most improved school was Thornhill Primary School in Southampton which saw its results go from 24 per cent reaching the required standard in 2009 to 88 per cent this year.

At the bottom end was the Maharishi Free School in Ormskirk, Lancashire. It recorded 0 per cent in both English and maths as pupils failed to sit the tests.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Administration Assistant / Apprenticeship Industry

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity for an e...

Recruitment Genius: NVQ Assessor

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Private Training Provider off...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own