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PUBLISHED: 08:54 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:53 03 July 2010

Growing numbers of East Anglian children are failing to master the basics of English and maths by the time they leave primary school, new figures show.

Growing numbers of East Anglian children are failing to master the basics of English and maths by the time they leave primary school, new figures show.

This year 69 schools in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire missed the government's minimum standard of 55pc of 11-year-olds reaching the target level four in English and maths tests.

Village schools are at the sharp end in Norfolk in particular, suggesting that the county's historic problem of rural low ambition is still an issue.

Despite billions of pounds of nationwide investment in the three Rs, the regional figure is up for the second year in a row, having been at 49 schools in 2007 and 52 last year.

In Norfolk, 35 schools missed the 55pc benchmark - almost one in six of the 215 primaries that sat the national tests in May. The figure is up from 30 in 2008 and 26 in 2007.

At two schools, just one child in four hit the expected level in the two crucial subjects.

More than half of the 35 schools are in villages. The figures fly in the face of assumptions that underachievement is largely confined to areas of urban deprivation in King's Lynn, Norwich, Thetford and Great Yarmouth.

The rising tide of primaries that are falling short at key stage two is reflected across England, with the number failing to hit 55pc of level fours in both English and maths up from 1,359 to 1,472.

Now the government has written to all local authorities to demand a plan by March next year, outlining how they will make all their primary schools “world class”.

Schools secretary Ed Balls said: “We know that primary education is vital in setting children up for success later in life and I will not stand by while any child goes to a school where results are persistently low.

“It's now down to local authorities to get all schools making progress all of the time and we are putting in place a package of measures which they can use to help them improve their local schools.”

Mr Balls has promised £255m for local authorities for one-to-one English and maths tuition in 2010/11 - including £3.63m for Norfolk, £3.2m for Suffolk and £2.66m for Cambridgeshire.

In Suffolk, the number of schools failing to hit the 55pc target has risen to 24 out of 135 primary schools this year, from 14 in 2008 and 12 in 2007.

In Cambridgeshire, the 2009 figure is 10 schools, up from eight in 2008 and down slightly from 11 in 2007.

Shelagh Hutson, Norfolk's cabinet member for children's services, said: “Teachers across Norfolk are working extremely hard to raise attainment and many are providing exceptional support to pupils to ensure they reach their potential.

“The number of primary schools in Norfolk that have not reached the government's floor target has increased slightly this year, as it has nationally. However, in 24 of the schools identified in Norfolk, this is a matter of one or two pupils not achieving the target.

“All of these schools are receiving intensive support with assistance from literacy or maths advisers. They have improvement plans in place and are being closely aided by school improvement partners, who are able to monitor progress and advise on how to raise standards further.”

PANEL

Schools with fewer than 55pc of pupils hitting level four in English and maths in the 2009 key stage two tests:

NORFOLK

All Saints Primary, Great Ryburgh (54pc)

Antony Curton Primary, Walpole St Peter (50pc)

The Bishops Primary, Thetford (29pc)

Brancaster Primary (50pc)

Catton Grove Primary, Norwich (52pc)

Dersingham Junior (47pc)

Docking Primary (42pc)

Duchy of Lancaster Methwold Primary (41pc)

Edward Worlledge Junior, Great Yarmouth (32pc)

Freethorpe Primary (54pc)

Great Witchingham Primary (42pc)

Greenacre Primary, Yarmouth (26pc)

Herman Primary, Yarmouth (53pc)

The James Bradfield Primary, Stoke Ferry (44pc)

Lakenham Primary, Norwich (51pc)

Larkman Primary, Norwich (24pc)

Lionwood Junior, Norwich (44pc)

Middleton Primary (44pc)

Mundford Primary (43pc)

Narborough Primary (42pc)

Necton Primary (50pc)

North Denes School, Yarmouth (45pc)

Norwich Road Primary, Thetford (54pc)

Peterhouse Primary, Yarmouth (50pc)

St Edmund's Foundation School, King's Lynn (50pc)

St Germans Primary (50pc)

St Nicholas Priory Junior, Yarmouth (40pc)

Sandringham and West Newton Primary (42pc)

Sprowston Junior (54pc)

Swaffham Junior (52pc)

Thetford Queensway Junior (51pc)

Thompson Primary (50pc)

Thurlton Primary (44pc)

Wells Primary (50pc)

Wreningham Primary (54pc)

Other schools in the EDP area:

SUFFOLK

Elm Tree Middle, Lowestoft (48pc)

The Harris Middle, Lowestoft (52pc)

Howard Middle, Bury St Edmunds (49pc)

Kirkley Middle, Lowestoft (22pc)

Pakefield Middle, Lowestoft (54pc)

Roman Hill Middle, Lowestoft (45pc)

St Botolph's Primary, Botesdale, near Diss (54pc)

Wortham Primary, near Diss (50pc)

CAMBRIDGESHIRE

Beaupre Primary, near Wisbech (38pc)

Orchards Primary, Wisbech (34pc)

Wisbech St Mary Primary (43pc)

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