Poll: Should 11-year-olds be ranked against their peers in England?

The ability of primary school pupils could be tested during their first weeks at school

The ability of primary school pupils could be tested during their first weeks at school - Credit: PA

Primary school pupils could be ranked against their peers across the country at the age of 11 under new plans being considered by ministers.

The Government has put forward proposals for new measures which would see youngsters put into 10pc bands, based on their achievements.

Parents would be told their child's position, for example that they are in the top 10pc in the country in a particular subject.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: 'I make no apology for having high ambitions for our pupils. But for children to achieve their potential we need to raise the bar – in terms of tests, pass marks and minimum standards. I am confident that primary schools and their pupils will meet that challenge.'

The move is one of a package of measures set out by ministers which they say will help to raise the bar on achievement in primaries and ensure that youngsters are ready for secondary school.

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Primary schools could face instant Ofsted inspections if they fail to meet tougher new standards.

From 2016, at least 85pc of students should reach a new, higher standards. Currently, 65pc are required to reach level four in English and maths by the end of primary school.

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Primaries will need to make sure that more of their pupils are reaching these new tougher standards, or face instant Ofsted inspections and being singled out for improvement measures.

The Government will also consult on bringing in new tests for children in their first weeks at primary school to check their ability and provide a baseline to assess their future progress.

The pupil premium - cash for disadvantaged school-age children which is aimed at raising achievement - will rise to £1,300 per eligible primary pupil in 2014-15, compared to £900 this year.

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said: 'The proposed measure to rank 11-year-olds lacks year-on-year consistency, as children will be benchmarked against their peers, not against set standards. How will this ensure standards remain high over time? We need a thought through plan from the Government.'

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said: 'The Government has a fondness for testing young children in the belief that the tests create reliable measures of performance. They don't. And, by relying only on what can be measured, they risk missing what matters. There is far more to being 'secondary ready' than a score on an hour's test. A teacher's judgment, built up over four years, has much to contribute.'

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