Three Rs sink to 7-year low

National test results have revealed that standards of reading, writing and maths among seven-year-olds have fallen to their 2000 level, despite huge state spending on early education schemes, the Mail reports:

"Almost half of boys - nearly 140,000 - will start the next phase of primary school next week without the writing skills needed to be sure of coping with the courses....

The figures emerged days after research from Durham University found that spending of £21billion over the past decade on nursery education and childcare has failed to improve children's ability to learn....

The assessments cover English, maths and science and are converted into a "points" measure by the Government based on the targets that are met.

The results show the average pupil scored 15.6 points in reading this summer, no improvement on last year and the same level as in 2000.

In writing, average scores fell for the third year running to 14.2 points. In 2000 the figure was 14.1.

In maths, pupils scored 15.8 points, the lowest level since 2000, when the figure was 16.0.

Overall, 84 per cent of pupils met the expected standard for their age in reading and 87 per cent in speaking and listening - no change on last year but down on 2005.

Point scores are unavailable in speaking and listening.

In writing, 80 per cent reached the required standard, known as "level 2", against 81 per cent last year and 82 per cent in 2005.

Only 59 per cent of pupils - and just 51 per cent of boys - met the tougher "level 2b".

In maths and science, 90 per cent and 89 per cent respectively reached a basic level 2 - no change on last year and a drop since 2005."

But these disappointing figures, despite huge amounts of extra spending, really aren't surprising. A system run by politicians who lack management experience and subject knowledge will never deliver a good education to all children.

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