And the shocking results mean more than 1,000 schools face being turned into academies or even closed b ecause, under tough guidelines introduced by the Coalition, they would be judged to have failed their pupils.
The bleak picture was exposed by school-by-school data from 11,500 primaries published by the Department of Education yesterday.
The bad news was compounded by a teacher boycott of the SATs tests used to compile the tables, which left the parents of more than 100,000 pupils unable to assess the standard of their children’s education.
This year’s figures show that 73.5 per cent of 11-year-olds showed they had a grasp of the basics in maths and English at level four, the Government’s target for a typical child of their age.
It is a marginal improvement on the 72 per cent of a year earlier, but remains a damning reflection of Labour’s education legacy, which failed to make an impact despite a doubling of spending during their years in power.
Education Secretary Michael Gove, in his recent White Paper, set new rules for failing schools.
Under the guidelines, head teachers must ensure at least 60 per cent of 11-year-olds reach the target level in English and maths.
Sub-standard schools will be closed and reopened as academies or merged with successful primaries.
Those that do not meet the 60 per cent target will get a reprieve only if they can satisfy ‘pupil progression’ measures charting improvement between the ages of seven and 11.
Although the rules will not be effective until next year, the Government is already in discussion with the worst offenders.
The 2010 tables show that at almost 350 schools, more than half of pupils fell short of the expected standards. And just 280 schools ensured that all their pupils finished primary education with a decent grasp of English and maths.
The best-performing primary is Manuden, in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.
The most improved was the Pilgrim School, in Rochester, Kent, which has produced the fastest improvement in results in the past three years.
At the bottom of the table is Starks Field Primary in Enfield, North London, where no pupils received an acceptable standard of English or maths.
The tables also showed that half of all children who qualify for free school meals do not leave primary with a grasp of the 3Rs.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said the poorly performing schools had been ‘failed’.
He said: ‘It is unacceptable that after seven years of primary school these children are not at the standard in English and maths that they need to flourish at secondary school.
‘It’s why we are putting such an emphasis on improving pupils’ reading ability in the first years of primary school, with a focus on phonics.’
But Russell Hobby, of head teachers’ union the NAHT, said: ‘League tables confuse, conceal and disparage school performance.
They say nothing about the quality of teaching and downplay the fantastic work of many schools in the most challenging circumstances.