Of the 15,000 primary schools assessed this year through national curriculum testing (SATs), only 521 came in below expectations for performance of students in maths and English.
This represents a significant decline of 60 per cent on 2011, when the Department for Education estimated 1,310 schools to be below the expected level of performance.
Commenting on the figures, a Department for Education spokesman said that the figures show schools have "responded to the challenge" they were set by the government to raise standards, following "years of chronic under-performance".
He added: "The floor standards we introduced were tougher and have improved performance. Heads, teachers and pupils deserve credit for meeting the challenge head on."
Schools are rated as 'under-performing' if fewer than 60 per cent of students achieve the expected Level 4 grading or if fewer students than the national average progress by two clear levels between the end of Key Stages 1 and 2.
Among those under-performing institutions, 47 have since closed while an additional 37 have already been converted into academies. On a national level, 80 per cent of children achieved Level 4 in both English and maths last year, compared to 74 per cent in 2011 and 73 per cent in 2010.
Approximately a quarter (27 per cent) of students were classified as high achievers, reaching Level 5 in maths and English, which is the level of performance expected of a 14-year-old.
To achieve Level 5 in English, children must demonstrate the ability to organise their writing, form paragraphs and create complex sentences that use subordinate clauses.
Meanwhile, Level 5 maths requires completion of simple equations with elements of algebra involved, calculating fractions and percentages, working out angles and understanding the concept of probability.
Elizabeth Truss, Minister for Education and Childcare, said: "I congratulate pupils, teachers and families on their hard work and achievements. The government is committed to driving up standards by giving teachers more freedom, strengthening discipline and improving teacher quality."
Posted by Alan Douglas