Leading article: Reading matter

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The Independent Online

The news that the proportion of 11-year-old boys able to read, write and do maths on leaving primary school fell this year is worrying for ministers, particularly as they are trying to focus on underachieving boys. Only 51 per cent of boys reached the required standard for their age in English and maths, down from 52 per cent last year. Children who leave primary school without the basics struggle at secondary school and risk becoming disaffected. The review led by Jim Rose, the former director of inspection at Ofsted, of how reading is taught in primary school should recommend how to target weak readers.