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Government to raise school test result targets

Tue 05 Mar 2013

Primary schools in England will soon have to achieve higher targets in maths and English tests.

Sixty per cent of pupils currently have to reach the expected standard in these two core subjects, but the government is revising this threshold upwards to 65 per cent.

David Laws, the schools minister, noted that lots of children are currently leaving primary school without having developed a basic grasp of reading, writing and arithmetic.

This, he said, means they are likely to struggle when they go to secondary school.

As a result, Mr Laws believes steps need to be taken to ensure a much higher proportion of children are "secondary ready" when the time comes to leave primary school.

He argued that this will enable them "not simply to cope, but thrive, when presented with the challenges and opportunities of secondary school".

The changes mean that some of those schools currently deemed to be meeting the required standards will be classified as underperforming unless they drive the necessary improvements.

Andrea Squires, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood, commented: "There can be little objection to the desire to improve standards and focus on transition from one key stage to another, but many will be dismayed by the continued emphasis on tests and floor targets. This will inevitably lead to more 'failing' schools and more forced conversions to academy status."

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