Higher floor standards drives up performance


New tougher floor targets for primary schools, introduced last year by the government to drive up standards, have resulted in fewer schools below the floor this year, according to the latest results.

The new targets mean where fewer than 60 per cent of pupils achieve at least the expected level (Level 4) in English and maths combined, they are deemed to be below the floor.

As well as being higher, primary schools not meeting the targets faced similar consequences to what secondary schools face.

In 2011, 1,310 primary schools were below the floor. This year 476 schools are below the floor. A further 45 were also below the floor but have since closed, 37 of them to become Academies.

Nationally, pupils improved in both the reading and the maths tests this year. There was no writing test this year. A new grammar, spelling and punctuation test will be brought in next year.

Every child in 502 primary schools not only achieved at least the expected level in both English and maths, but also made the expected progress in both subjects.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "The floor standards we introduced were tougher and have improved performance. Heads, teachers and pupils deserve credit for meeting the challenge head on.

"Schools with a long history of underperformance, and who are not stepping up to the mark, face being taken over by an Academy sponsor. The expertise and strong leadership provided by sponsors is the best way to turn around weak schools and give pupils there the best chance of a first-class education."