More than 200,000 pupils are still being taught in primaries that have failed to hit rigorous standards, despite a growing number leaving schools with a good grounding in reading, writing and maths, new figures show.
Data released by the Department for Education showed that 676 of them are not reaching the level expected of them in reading, writing and arithmetic. However, the figures are an improvement on last year, when 768 schools were deemed to be failing.
The statistics also revealed major disparities across the country. In some parts of England all primaries are reaching the minimum standard, but in other areas one in seven are not.
The new floor standards set last year mean schools must make sure that 65 per cent of 11-year-olds reach Level 4 in writing, reading and maths national curriculum tests.
The figures also revealed that students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds were starting secondary schools at the same standards as their peers.
But there are 13 local authorities where results are “disappointingly low.”
Ministers are meeting with representatives from the areas to try and find ways to raise results in future.
The Department of Education also said some failing schools are being turned into sponsored academies, meaning they will no longer be run by their local council.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “As part of this government’s commitment to extending opportunity for all, it is essential that every child leaves primary school having mastered the basics in reading, writing and maths – thanks to our education reforms thousands more pupils each year are reaching those standards.
“The increased performance at primary level across the country demonstrates how this government is delivering on its commitment to provide educational excellence everywhere and ensure every child benefits from the best possible start in life, no matter where they come from.”