A significant proportion of pupils fall behind in at least one of the 'three Rs' in their final years of primary school, a new report has revealed.
According to the Department for Education study, one in six school children fail to make acceptable progress in English and maths lessons between the ages of seven and 11.
Boys are most likely to fall behind in English, while girls have a greater tendency to struggle in maths classes.
In light of this, Nick Gibb, the minister of state for schools, believes more needs to be done to ensure children leave primary school having attained a basic minimum standard in reading, writing and arithmetic.
"Thousands of children are condemned to struggle at secondary school and beyond unless they get the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths right at an early age," he commented.
"We also need to ensure that those who are doing well when they are seven are stretched to their full potential."
Meanwhile, education secretary Michael Gove has called for Britain's literary past to be celebrated more openly in English lessons.