More children are achieving the standards expected of them in the three Rs by the time they leave primary school, new figures show.
But tens of thousands of youngsters are still failing to achieve the expected level in reading, writing and maths.
Nationally, the results of this year’s national curriculum tests, known as Sats, show a four percentage point improvement in the proportion of 11-year-olds gaining at least a Level 4 - the standard expected of the age group, in the basics.
Overall, 79 per cent of youngsters achieved this level or higher in all three of the subjects tested.
In Yorkshire, attainment is slightly lower but does show improvement, with 75 per cent of 11-year-olds achieving the expected standards or higher in all three subjects - up from 73 per cent a year ago.
School Reform Minister Nick Gibb said around 80,000 more children were reaching Level 4 in reading, writing and maths, than five years ago.
“It means in the long term these children stand a far better chance of winning a place at university, gaining an apprenticeship and securing good jobs,” Mr Gibb said.
“We have set unashamedly high expectations for all children, introduced a new test in the basics of punctuation, spelling and grammar, and removed calculators from maths tests.
“Today’s results show teachers and pupils have responded well to the higher standards our education reforms have demanded.
“Our education system is beginning to show the first fruits of our plan for education, helping to prepare young people for life in modern Britain.
“There is more to do but teachers and pupils deserve huge credit for such outstanding results.”
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) cautioned that it would take at least three cohorts of pupils before the effectiveness of the Government’s new education policies would be appreciated, but given the impending changes for the forthcoming academic year, policy adviser Sion Humphreys said this year’s results were even more impressive.
“There is an enormous amount of change facing schools from next week, a whole new curriculum and assessments, which is something that schools have been working hard to prepare for over the last year,” Mr Humphreys said.
“Given that teachers and school leaders have had their minds exercised by those changes, they have not only maintained standards but have led improvements. This is really encouraging and is testament to their hard work and commitment.”