Better performances are to be called for by schools secretary Ed Balls for more than 1,400 primary schools throughout the country.
Action plans are to be called for in a dozen local authorities in a bid to improve schools that have been identified as underperforming, while Mr Balls is expected to call for the number of pupils leaving school with basic arithmetic and writing skills to reach 55 per cent.
The tougher stance is being seen as a response to the publication of league tables earlier this week revealing a reduction in the number of schools with pupils attaining expected standards.
Nearly 100 more schools from London to the north-east slipped in their results this year than in 2008, with more children moving onto their secondary education without having first acquired basic skills.
In other education news, a dozen additional schools are to be built using £800 million worth of funding from the Building Schools for the Future scheme.
Posted by Tim Colman.