Results in primary schools rise

Primary schools have scored their best results ever in English and mathematics, according to official figures released today.

Government tables reveal that primary school performance has risen again in 2005, with the number of children achieving the required standard – known as national curriculum level four – in English and maths increasing by one percentage point from last year.

This year, 79 per cent reached this level in English and 75 per cent hit the target rate for maths.

The number of schoolchildren achieving the expected level in science remained constant at 86 per cent and there was a significant reduction over the year in the number of schools where less than 65 per cent of pupils achieved level four or above.

Schools minister Andrew Adonis declared: “The results today show that we are continuing to raise standards in our primary schools.

“The primary national strategy, which includes the successful literacy hour and daily mathematics lessons, has transformed the quality of teaching and learning in primary schools and will continue to help schools to build on their successes and improve further.”

The 2005 primary schools figures also indicate that schools in authorities facing the greatest challenges, including Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol, have “sustained excellent progress at key stage two since 2002”.

Lord Adonis added: “These results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our primary school teachers nationwide.”

However, Lib Dem education spokesman Ed Davey claimed the government is still falling short of targets in maths and English and called for more personalised testing for pupils.

“With head teachers disowning the league tables, many parents will question Labour’s boasts about improvements,” he said.

“Despite all the government’s talk, the figures show that achievement in maths and English is still falling short of their targets. The government criticises schools and teachers who miss targets, but there appear to be no consequences for ministers when they miss theirs.”

According to official data, about 84,000 more children in English and 96,000 in maths have left primary school having reached the expected level than in 1998, when the National Literacy Strategy was first introduced.