Schools Minister Lord Adonis writes for The Post on this year's primary school results
Today’s results show we have come a long way since 1997, when a third of 11 year-olds failed to reach the expected standard.
Our Primary National Strategy and the work of thousands of teachers have enabled around 95,000 more 11 year-olds to master literacy and 83,000 more to master numeracy this year compared with 1997. I am particularly pleased to see that previously underperforming schools are now raising their game and closing the attainment gap.
Our targeted support through the Primary National Strategy’s Intensifying Support programme has helped schools improve their results at double the rate of other primary schools – by nearly two percentage points in English and over three percentage points in mathematics.
But despite this progress, more needs to be done. We are determined to redouble our efforts to help the one in five 11 year-olds who are still not reaching the standard required of their age in literacy and mathematics.
That is why we are renewing our Literacy Strategy with phonics at the heart of the teaching of reading, and renewing our Numeracy Strategy with more demanding standards of mental arithmetic.
We are increasing the range of support and expertise available to teachers, to reflect improvements in best practice. We know more can be achieved and the framework renewal provides fresh momentum to make further progress.
We have also asked local authorities to outline the steps they plan to take to further boost attainment in primary schools as a matter of priority.
I would like to congratulate the teachers and pupils of two Birmingham schools, Heath Mount Primary School and Springfield House Community Special School, for being in the ‘top tens’ of schools for adding value to their pupils’ achievements.
You should all be delighted with these results – they are a testament to your hard work. It is particularly pleasing to see special schools in the top ten of the value-added tables.