England’s primary schools have seen major improvements in the performance of pupils from the poorest backgrounds, which has seen them start to catch up with their peers, official statistics show.

Two thirds (67%) of pupils on free school meals attained Level 4 in the “Three Rs” of reading, writing, and arithmetic this year, a four per cent improvement over 2013.

These improvements closed the education attainment gap between the poorest and non-disadvantaged students to 16%, with 83% of those from less disadvantaged homes attaining Level 4 in the same tests.

Overall, 79% of pupils across England reached the Department of Education’s targets in in reading, writing, and maths,

More schools also reached the government’s target of 65% of students the Level 4 targets, with 768 of England’s nearly 16,000 primary schools failing to reach the required standard. If the target was 60% as in previous years, then 469 primary schools would have failed.

The data is based on tests taken by 11-year-old pupils from 16,000 primary schools across England.

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