Last updated: 05.10.11

A fifth of children are behind in school, report states

Schoolchildren could benefit from e-learning after it was revealed that a fifth of them are lagging behind in English and maths classes.

Statistics published by the Department for Education show that 18 per cent of pupils in England failed to make the progress expected of them in maths between the ages of seven and 11.

The gap between boys and girls also seemed to have widened in the traditional classroom setting as the information published showed that girls are outperforming boys in English lessons but it is the boys who fair better in numeracy.

Compared to figures from the last academic year, a gap of four percentage points has increased to five percentage points when looking at the expected progress in literacy classes.

Overall, 86 per cent of girls made the expected grades in English, compared to 81 per cent of boys.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: "The progress children make is vital. We want schools to be developing all pupils' knowledge and abilities, from whatever position they start."

He added that schools should focus their teaching attentions on all students to ensure school-wide success rather than just on those who constantly achieve good grades and keep the attainment threshold of the school high.

Online learning could also help as an extra aid to schoolchildren who may need further guidance on particular topics once they have left the classroom lesson.

Mr Gibb commented: "These figures show that most pupils are making good progress, but there is more to do."

A new target has been introduced by education ministers which states that a school is underperforming if 60 per cent of its pupils are not reaching level four in English and maths by age 11.

Education secretary Michael Gove said in May that children who fall behind in English and maths by the time they have reached GCSE level will face an extra two years of study to catch up to the standard to progress to further education.