According to new Government figures, more than a quarter of 11-year-olds are leaving primary schools without grasping the finer points of English and maths.
Under Government targets, pupils are expected to reach Level 4 in the controversial national curriculum, or Sats, tests, which are taken in the final year of primary school.
Below is a description of what a pupil must demonstrate in order to be awarded a Level 4 in English and maths, as well as what is required to reach Level 3, the standard expected of nine and 10-year-olds, and what is needed to reach Level 5, the standard beyond what is expected of 11-year-olds.
* Level 3 - According to schools minister Diana Johnson, a child who is reading at this level is able to read and enjoy the Harry Potter books. He or she can also work out the main points of a story, and write a simple sentence correctly.
* Level 4 - In order to reach this level the child must be able to read between the lines and understand the point, or moral of the story. They must also be able to write longer sentences, using punctuation such as commas, and choose words for effect.
* Level 5 - A pupil at this level has well organised writing, and writes in paragraphs. They can recognise different writing techniques, and adapt their writing to suit their audience and purpose. The youngster will also be able to compose complex sentences.
* Level 3 - A pupil at this level can do simple decimal and fraction calculations, as well as add and subtract two figures in their head. He or she will know their two, three, four, five and 10 times tables, and will also be able to identify 2D and 3D shapes, and make a bar chart.
* Level 4 - Children reaching this level will be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide without using a calculator, and know all their times tables up to 10 x 10. Their working out is clear and organised, they can plot co-ordinates on a graph and work out area and perimeter.
* Level 5 - In order to reach this level a child must be able to think mathematically and explain their own reasoning. They can do simple equations and algebra and calculate in fractions and percentages. The pupil should also be able to calculate angles and understand the basics of probability.
Primary school pupils also took Sats in science this year. This test has been scrapped for next year following a recommendation from the Government's expert group on testing.
Schools secretary Ed Balls abolished Sats tests for 14-year-olds in October following last summer's marking fiasco.Reuse content