Third of pupils missing 3Rs target
A third of pupils are still leaving primary school without a good grasp of the basics, official figures have shown.
More children left primary school this summer after achieving the level expected of them (Level 4) in reading, writing and maths.
But one in three youngsters, nearly 183,000 in total, failed to reach this standard, according to the Department for Education.
Its statistics show that 67% of 11-year-olds in England achieved at least Level 4 in the three subjects in their national curriculum tests, or Sats.
While this is up from 64% last year it still means that 33% of youngsters fell short.
Ministers praised the rise, but raised concerns that too many children are still struggling with the three Rs.
Schools minister Nick Gibb warned that one in 10 11-year-old boys has the reading skills expected of a seven-year-old, and called for all primary school children to "have a reading book on the go at home".
Just 42% of pupils achieved a Level 5 in reading this year, compared with 50% in 2010, while 20% reached this level in writing, against 21% last year.
It means that 13% of pupils achieved a Level 5 in reading, writing and maths combined.
Mr Gibb accepted there had been a decline in the proportion of children who are reading and writing at a higher level than expected for their age.