More than one in five 11-year-olds in the West Midlands failed to leave primary education with the required level of ability in literacy and numeracy this year.
SAT results show 21 per cent failed to reach the required level in English tests and 23 per cent failed to do so in maths.
Both figures were worse than the national average failure rate of 19 per cent for English and 22 per cent for maths.
Stoke-on-Trent and Telford and Wrekin had the worst results in literacy. Both authorities saw more than a quarter –26 per cent – of 11-year-olds fail to make the grade.
For maths, Stoke-on-Trent was joined in the bottom position regionally by Sandwell. Each recorded 26 per cent not reaching the required standard.
Just under a quarter – 24 per cent – of Birmingham’s 11-year-olds left primary school without hitting the level expected for future success in English tests and 25 per cent missed the target in maths.
Nationally, more than a third of primary school leavers were found to be entering secondary education without grasping the finer points of reading, writing and maths.
Liberal Democrat Children’s spokeswoman Annette Brooke said: “Yet again, ministers have failed to meet their own targets. Too many children will be starting secondary school without having a good grasp of the core subjects.”
The Government, however, said standards had risen significantly since Labour came to power in 1997 when only 43 per cent of pupils left primary education without hitting the level in the three areas.
It also welcomed a one per cent rise in the proportion of youngsters making the grade in key stage two tests in English and maths.
The results have been overshadowed by on-going delays with marking this year’s tests.
Delivery of results to schools was delayed due to problems with marking and inputting data.
But Schools Secretary Ed Balls said last week he had been advised there was enough data available to go ahead with publication.
He said England’s exams regulator Ofqual had advised there were no widespread concerns about the quality of marking which could justify withholding the results.
Latest figures from contractor ETS Europe, hired to deliver the results, show 99 per cent of key stage two results were available to schools. But headteachers have said the Government’s decision to publish the results “beggars belief” following the marking shambles.
They warned there was still widespread concern about late or missing results and inaccuracies in marking, and suggested ministers were issuing the results “prematurely”.
A spokesman for the National Association of Head Teachers said they had received more than 300 examples of maladministration and inaccuracies.
He said: “These may well represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of national concerns about the reliability and validity of this year’s results.”
Schools Minister Jim Knight claimed this year’s results showed 101,000 more 11-year-olds are now achieving the target level in English and 93,000 more in maths compared with 1997.
“We are seeing the benefits of some good improvements in the teaching of reading, which is encouraging. Writing levels remain the same for a third year, which is a concern.”