Numeracy and literacy levels rise slowly

More 11-year-olds are up to speed with their English and maths than ever before, new government statistics reveal.

Results for this year’s Key Stage 2 test show that a record 79% of children achieved level 4 in English, while 75% achieved level 4 in maths.

However, these figures remain well short of the government’s target of 85% of children reaching level 4 or above in both subjects by 2006.

Boys’ writing skills are of particular concern, with only 55% reaching the standard expected of an 11-year-old.

Meanwhile, results for this year’s Key Stage 1 test show that 85% of seven-year-olds achieved the expected level in reading, 82% in writing and 91% in maths.

The Department for Education and Skills said that early results from the 5,000 schools benefiting from targeted support through the intensifying support programme and primary leaderships programmes suggested that they had improved this year at twice the rate of other schools.

“The landscape of achievement has changed dramatically since 1998 when we introduced the national literacy and numeracy strategies,” said schools minister Jacqui Smith. “This government’s unrelenting focus on the basics is paying off. I warmly congratulate children and teachers for their hard work in achieving these results.”

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