Quarter of UK primary school pupils fail reading, writing and arithmetic


MORE than a quarter of pupils left primary school earlier this year without a good grasp of the three Rs – with a rising number failing their reading tests.

As many as 85,000 boys and 55,000 girls in England failed to make the required grade in the reading, writing and maths tests – known as Sats – with the difference between the sexes set to prompt renewed concerns over a gender gap in education.

In a new spelling, punctuation and grammar test, taken by pupils for the first time this year, 26 per cent of all pupils did not gain a Level 4 – the standard expected of 11-year-olds.

Again, boys were worse than girls – 31 per cent compared with 21 per cent, says the Department of Education data.

Figures overall show 76 per cent of pupils were awarded a Level 4 or higher in all three subjects.

This is up one percentage point on last year but it still means 24 per cent of youngsters did not reach the expected level. Figures for bright pupils gaining an elite Level 5 in reading showed a three per cent decline to 45 per cent.

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said: “One in four children is leaving primary school without a firm grasp of spelling, punctuation and grammar. The new test encourages