Primary school pupils in Peterborough are not achieving the expected standards in reading, writing and maths.
Just 74 per cent of 11 year olds in the city achieved a level 4 in reading, writing and maths in the Key Stage Two assessments taken in May.
The results put Peterborough as the seventh worst performing authority in the country.
Jonathan Lewis, service director – education, resources and corporate property, said: “Ofsted have said our schools are improving. There are two measures that have been put out today - attainment and progress, and we are at the national average for progress - which shows how much improvement a child makes from Key Stage one to Key Stage Two. The children are coming in at a lower level than other areas, and we are bringing them up.
“We have significant issues with children who have English as an additional language (EAL).
“We are working very hard with challenging schools to get better. We have set up the self improving schools network, with schools working in threes to challenge and help improve. This is being held up as national best practice.
“We have got problems with trying to recruit teachers, as many areas have. We are trying to recruit the best teachers possible.
“We also have one of the highest birth rates in the country - this year’s year 6 has been the biggest year group and highest level of EAL.
“But I am confident we can make significant improvements, and jump higher in the table. We are improving, and just two per cent improvement would see us jump up the table.”
Mr Lewis said the results that have been released by the Department of Education were not validated as yet, and expected to see an improvement in November when the validated scores are released.
Now schools minister Nick Gibb MP will be writing to Peterborough City Council to find out what is being done to improve standards.
Mr Gibb said: “As a One Nation government we are committed to driving up standards as a matter of social justice.
“That is why I will be writing to the Director of Children’s Services and Directors of Education of councils that are bottom of the league tables and asking that they meet me as a matter of urgency to explain how they intend to improve the teaching of reading and arithmetic in the primary schools under their control.”
This is the last time that levels will be used to assess performance at the end of primary school.
To reflect the new more rigorous national curriculum that came into effect in September 2014, from summer 2016 pupils will be assessed against a higher standard and given a scaled score where 100 will represent the expected standard.