Package of primary school measures will raise ambition


A new primary school floor standard will drive up standards and help ensure children are ready for secondary school, according to Schools Minister, David Laws.
As well as requiring schools to get a higher proportion of pupils to clear the existing bar, the Government has also signaled that the bar itself is too low –  and it will be raised in the future because it is not ambitious enough.
The moves are part of a package of measures designed to raise standards in primary schools, including among disadvantaged children:

  • The floor standard will go up from 2014 – primary schools where fewer than 65 per cent of pupils achieve the expected level (Level 4) in the 3Rs, and which do not achieve above average progress in these subjects, will be below the floor. The current floor standard requires schools to have 60 per cent of their pupils at level 4 or above in English and maths, plus the progress measures.
  • New data will be published by the Department for Education showing the proportion of primary children who achieve a “good” Level 4 in the 3Rs – those who are truly “secondary ready”. This will be until the current system of levels is removed from 2016.
  • Schools judged by Ofsted to be neither good nor outstanding, and who are not closing the gap between their disadvantaged pupils and their other pupils, will be ordered to draw up action plans – alongside experts – on how they will spend their pupil premium money.
  • Summer school programme – which helps children make the transition from primary to secondary school – to be repeated this year.

This follows the publication of draft National Curriculum programmes of study for primary school subjects.

Schools Minister David Laws said: "Many of our children are leaving primary school without having secured the basics in the 3Rs. They then go on to struggle at secondary school.

"We must ensure that a far higher proportion of pupils are ‘secondary ready’ by the end of their primary school. This will allow them not simply to cope, but thrive, when presented with the challenges and opportunities of secondary school."