Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Four in ten 11-year-olds don't make the grade in three Rs

Four in ten children leave primary school without a basic grasp of the three Rs, national test results have revealed.

Official results published yesterday showed a slight rise in the proportion of pupils making the grade in reading, maths and science.
This year, 80 per cent of pupils made the grade in English - reading and writing combined - and 77 per cent in maths. But this still means nearly a quarter of a million pupils will move up to secondary school next month without having mastered the skills of reading, writing and maths. Ministers were forced to admit they had "further to go" as it emerged just 60 per cent of all pupils - and 56 per cent of boys - reached the expected level for their age in the three Rs combined.

As teachers' leaders demanded the scrapping of national testing and targets, Schools Minister Lord Adonis insisted the regime was here to stay. However, he revealed the Government was reviewing the current target for 85 per cent of pupils to reach expected levels in English and Maths."We are in discussions at the moment about where we go next on targets," said Lord Adonis. "No conclusions have been reached yet but we do expect to see year-on-year progress." He hailed the "best ever" set of results for state schools.

Meanwhile, Steve Sinnott, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "The national test results conceal the downside of tests, targets and tables. "We surely must be able to come up with a better system than one which encourages the hot-house pressures of teaching to the test at the expense of the rest of the curriculum and unrealistic national targets."

Isn't it great - the results improve and yet people still aren't happy.

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