4.02.2009

Half of primary pupils fail to master English and maths

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article6018146.ece

St Mary's Church of England primary in West Yorkshire, where pupils' 'brain breaks' have led to great test results

Tens of thousands of children are being taught in schools where less than 50 per cent of pupils are mastering the basics in English and maths before they leave, league tables published yesterday show.

Although overall attainment in the national curriculum tests for 11-year-olds was up slightly last summer, the results show that the rate of progress has slowed, with schools now having to work harder for smaller gains.

The proportion of 11-year-olds reaching Level 4 in English edged up one percentage point to 81 per cent, and in maths by two percentage points to 79 per cent. In science 88 per cent of children achieved a Level 4 pass, the same as last year.

Level 4 is the standard considered necessary to have a chance of doing well at secondary school, but only 2 per cent of schools — 329 out of more than 14,500 — managed to get all pupils up to that standard in all three subjects.

More than 160,000 11-year-olds — a quarter of the total — left primary school last year without reaching this standard in English and maths.

The results for boys were even worse, with 30 per cent failing to reach Level 4 in English and maths. However, for maths alone, boys did better, with 79 per cent gaining Level 4, against 78 per cent of girls.

[Although this is british news, illiteracy and dumbing-down is a world wide pandemic and a problem that is not getting the attention it deserves.]

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