Hundreds of struggling primary schools in England could be taken over by better-performing institutions or closed altogether, the latest league tables suggest.
Earlier in the month, education secretary Michael Gove announced that schools where fewer than 60 per cent of pupils fail to meet minimum standards for numeracy and literacy skills could face government intervention, including by being brought under the academies programme.
Now, the latest statistics published by the Department of Education show that some 962 primary schools in England alone fall into this category, meaning tens of thousands of pupils each year go to secondary school without the necessary arithmetic or literacy skills.
In particular, as the schools minister Nick Gibb has conceded, those pupils who are eligible for free school meals tend to be the least-likely to achieve the minimum standards.
"It is unacceptable that after seven years of primary school, these children are not the standard in English and maths that they need to be to flourish at secondary school," he said.
On a more positive note, the government figures also show that 87 per cent of primary school pupils in England are now reaching Key Stage Level Four in English.
Posted by Theo Foulds