Schools 'below target for 3 Rs'.
Byline: Claire Miller Staff Reporter email@example.com
SCHOOLS in Walsall have been named among the country's worst-performing for teaching the three Rs.
Almost one in five primaries in Walsall were below the Government's floor level for expected performance in Sats results at the end of Year 6. Figures from the Department for Education said 17 per cent of the borough's primaries failed to meet attainment standards in Key Stage 2 tests covering reading and maths, as well as teacher assessment of writing.
Overall, just 73 per cent of ten and 11-year-olds in Walsall achieved the expected level four standard.
In Birmingham, only 75 per cent of pupils made the expected level.
Solihull was the best performing part of the Midlands, with 80 per cent of pupils reaching Level 4 or above.
In Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton, eight per cent of children reached Level 3 or below in their KS2 results. Most pupils are expected to reach at least Level 4. And just 17 per cent of pupils in Walsall reached Level 5 or above on the tests, which would put them above average for their age, compared to 29 per cent in Solihull.
Nationally, the figures suggested the proportion of primaries failing to give their pupils a good grounding in the three Rs remained static this year, despite schools facing tougher government targets.
More than 700 schools in England are now considered below the floor standard, the same proportion as last year, according to a Government analysis of data used to create primary school league tables. Ministers insisted the findings showed schools had "raised their game".
Under the Government's tougher standards, schools must ensure at least 65 per cent of 11-year-olds reach level four.
In order to meet the target last year, primaries had to have 60 per cent of Year 6 pupils reaching the standard in each of the three key areas, as well as meeting progress goals.
According to the DfE's analysis, if primary schools were judged on this year's data against 2013's target, only 469 schools would have fallen below the threshold.
Schools Minister David Laws said: "I am pleased to see that primaries have responded to the challenge of a higher floor standard."
But he also warned there were still too many areas with "simply unacceptable" levels of attainment for poorer pupils.