15/12/2011 10:30 GMT | Updated 15/12/2011 10:42 GMT

One In 10 Primary Schools 'Failing' To Teach Basics

The Government has vowed to tackle "chronic" under-performance in primary education as official figures showed that more than 1,000 schools are failing to adequately teach the basics.

New statistics have revealed that 1,310 primary schools in England fell below the standard expected for English and maths.

A third of 11-year-olds are not achieving the results they should be in reading, writing and arithmetic, with one in 10 boys leaving primary school with the reading age of a seven-year-old. One of 14 boys also go on to secondary school with the writing age of a seven-year-old, the Department for Education figures showed.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: "We are taking action to end years of chronic under-performance."

Under the Government's target, primaries do not meet the floor standard if fewer than 60% of pupils reach Level 4, the level expected for the age group, in reading, writing and arithmetic.

According to the figures, 82% of all pupils achieved Level 4 or above for English in the Key Stage 2 tests, up two percentage points from 2010. For maths, the figure was 80%, up one percentage point from last year.

The 1,310 schools that failed to meet the target, out of more than 16,000 schools that fielded candidates across England, could potentially risk being closed or taken over.

Mr Gibb said: "The seven years of primary school are key to establishing the building blocks of a child's education, particularly in reading, writing and arithmetic. The figures reveal on a school-by-school basis the high academic standards achieved by thousands of primary schools in this country.

"But 1,310 schools are shown to be below the floor - and about 150 have been languishing with poor standards for five years in a row. It is these schools that we will pay particular attention to in the year ahead, whether through conversion to a sponsored academy or other measures."