The pupils who are being left behind in Yorkshire

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AROUND a third of pupils in Yorkshire left primary school last summer without reaching a level of reading which the Government describes as being “secondary ready”.

Tables from the most recent standard assessment tests sat by 11-year-olds shows 29 per cent of pupils did not get to this standard – 15,829 children.

This was the worst figure of any Government region in England.

An analysis of the league tables shows that Yorkshire lags behind the rest of the country in almost every assessment of reading and writing carried out.

The county also has the highest proportion of primary schools not reaching Government targets for getting 11-year-old pupils to master the three Rs.

One in 10 primary schools across Yorkshire failed to meet these floor targets compared with a national average of just six per cent.

However, there is better news at GCSE where the region moved off the bottom nationally for the first time in six years.

In the new phonics test – which assesses a six-year-old’s ability to decode words – the figures show that from an early age the number falling behind in Yorkshire is greater than almost anywhere else in the country.

About a third of pupils do not reach the expected level – the joint worst score of any region in England. The trend continues throughout primary education.

In key stage one testing of seven-year-olds Yorkshire has the highest level of pupils not reaching the standards expected in both reading and writing.

Figures from the Department for Education show that 13 per cent – 7,887 children – fall short in reading and 17 per cent do not make the grade in writing – 10,313 children. At key stage two assessment tests carried out at the end of primary school pupils the region is also the worst performing in England.

In teacher assessments of pupils’ ability in English 15 per cent – about 8,000 Yorkshire pupils – are said to fall short of the standard expected of the age group, which is known as level four.

However, the Government have also introduced a tougher standard called 4b which is said to show whether pupils are “secondary ready”. Using this measure 15,829 pupils are falling short in reading. In both cases Yorkshire scores lower than any other region in England.

One of the most shocking figures is for the number of 11-year-olds performing at the level expected of a seven-year-old. Figures show more than 2,100 pupils were at this level in both reading and writing at the end of their primary education – around five per cent of the region’s 11-year-olds. In both cases the figure was slightly higher for boys than girls.

However the region’s performance at GCSE has improved. Two thirds of pupils achieved a C in English last summer placing Yorkshire above both the East Midlands and the North East in regional tables.