Primary school league tables: The coast and the countryside - where the 'unlucky' children live

More than 700 primary schools have failed to reach minimum government standards in the three Rs

Education Editor

More than 700 primary schools have failed to reach minimum government standards in the three Rs and could face being forced to become academies, according to official figures published today.

Government primary school league tables reveal a total of 767 primary schools have failed to reach a minimum "floor target" of 60 per cent of their pupils reaching the required standard in reading, writing and arithmetic in tests for 11-year-olds.

If they fail to improve, they could face a compulsory takeover by an academy sponsor, ministers warned yesterday.

"We are determined to drive up standards as quickly as possible in schools where there has been stubborn under-performance for years," said Schools Minister David Laws,  "Where schools fail to improve, they will be taken over by brilliant academy sponsors with a track record of success."

Meanwhile, the tables support claims that the country's "unluckiest" children are more likely to be found in coastal towns and rural areas.

They show the worst performing authority in the country is Poole in Dorset - where one in three primary schools have failed to meet the Government's minimum targets.

Chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw made the point about England's unluckiest children when publishing the annual "state-of-the-nation" report by education standards watchdog Ofsted.

He said England's children were divided into "lucky" and "unlucky" pupils - with an "education lottery" deciding whether they attended a good or a bad school.

The tables also show - amongst the worst 10 performers - are also Norfolk and Suffolk which have the highest number of underperforming schools in the country - 25 and 22 respectively.

The gap between disadvantaged children on free school meals and their peers is narrowing, according to the tables.  It is down by three percentage points compared with last year - although still exists with 74 per cent of disadvantaged pupils reaching the required standard in maths compared with 87 per cent of all other pupils.

Here again, though, the gap is highest is some of the country's leafier suburbs with Wokingham having the biggest gap with 39 per cent.  Also in the top ten of worst performers are Cambridgeshire, Bracknell Forest, Cheshire West and Chester and Worcestershire.  The only major conurbation in the bottom ten is Leeds.

Meanwhile, the top ten performers  are all London boroughs with Newham in east London the best performer with a gap of just four percentage points.

In addition, 14 schools serving disadvantaged areas achieved 100 per cent success in getting pupils to reach the required standards in all three tests.

The overall figures for those failing, though, are an improvement on last year when 834 primary schools failed to reach the target - despite it becoming more difficult.  Last year schools had to get 60 per cent of pupils to the required standard in maths and English overall - rather than in all three tests.

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 entrenched failure.

"Schools respond to this challenge.  The floor standards we introduced were tougher and performance is improving.  Heads, teachers and pupils deserve credit for meeting the challenge head on."

Of the 97 primary schools that became sponsored academies who have had their results published today, two thirds (62) have improved their results - a third (33 per cent) by at least 10 percentage points.  Sponsored academies raised their results by three percentage points on average - compared with a one percentage point rise in local authority mainstream schools.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said of the results: "It is not surprising that some schools have fallen below the Government's new floor targets for primaries as they now have much tougher targets to achieve,

We agree that it is vital for schools to focus on reading, writing and maths but in the relentless push to get 60 per cent of students to level 4 (the required standard) in these subjects, other important areas of the curriculum such as art, music and PE get side-lined."

Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, added: "Those who wish to claim the public education service is broken will feed a narrative of negativity around these results.  The truth is that these results once again demonstrate considerable achievement and pupils and teachers should be congratulated on their hard work."

Top 10 areas for teaching disadvantaged pupils

% gap in performance between free school meal pupils and the rest

1. Newham                   4

2. Camden                   8

3= Tower Hamlets            9

Hackney

5= Westminster              10

Brent

Lambeth

8= Greenwich                11

Lewisham

Wandsworth

Bottom 10 areas for teaching disadvantaged pupils

1. Wokingham                39

2. Central Bedfordshire     31

3=  Stockport          30

Wakefield     

5. Cambridgeshire             29

6= Bath and North Somerset   28

Bracknell Forest  

8. Cheshire West and Chester  27

9= Worcestershire             26

Leeds         

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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: Nursery Pre School Practitioner

£6 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued expansion, they are loo...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development & Relationship Manager

£45000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development & Relati...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant - Startup

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Personal Assistant is require...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific