One in five pupils struggle with three Rs - but we beat the national average

ABOUT one in five 11-year-olds is failing to make the grade in English and the ‘three RS’ before leaving North Somerset primary schools.

Despite the local authority being in the top five for most improved key stage two results for English and maths, some students are going to secondary school with the basic skills of seven-year-olds.

Regional figures for the most recent tests were released this week and show girls out shining boys in all but maths.

Nationally one in three pupils fails to achieve the expected level in reading, writing and maths combined.

In North Somerset, 83 per cent of youngsters reached the mark in English, with 86 per cent doing the same with reading, 75 per cent in writing and 82 per cent in maths.

In Somerset the equivalent figures are 82 per cent, 84 per cent, 73 per cent and 80 per cent.

Dozens of pupils are at the required standards of a seven-year-old or lower when leaving primary schools at the age of 11 in North Somerset and Somerset.

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Following the release of the figures this week, schools minister Nick Gibb, said: “Thousands of children are doing very well, testament to their hard work and the professional skills of their teachers.

“But a third of children are still struggling in the three Rs.

“There has been a decline in the proportion of children, both boys and girls, who can read and write beyond the expected level.

“The results of our weakest readers and writers also remain a real concern.”

The Government is set to introduce a reading check for six-year-olds in order to identify those that are struggling.

The 200 worst performing primary schools nationally are also due to be transformed into academies by September 2012.