Progress in primary schools 'has stalled'

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The Independent Online

Standards in English and maths at primary school are stalling, national curriculum test results of 600,000 11-year-olds are set to show next week.

Standards in English and maths at primary school are stalling, national curriculum test results of 600,000 11-year-olds are set to show next week.

The results, to be published on Tuesday, are expected to show a fall of 1 per cent (to 72 per cent) in the number reaching the required standard in maths. The number reaching the standard in English rose by just 1 per cent, to 76 per cent.

The figures would mean that schools still have not reached the target set by the Government for 2002 - namely 80 per cent in English and 75 per cent in maths.

It was the failure to reach that figure which was a contributory factor in the resignation of Estelle Morris as Secretary of State for Education after the Conservatives found she had promised to quit during an earlier Commons debate on the targets.

The predictions are based on a survey of the results of 110,000 children in 34 English education authorities who sat the tests this summer, published by The Times Educational Supplement.

Ministers have downgraded the target to an "aspiration" which they hope to meet in 2006.

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