Just half of year 6 pupils have met the new expected standard in their key stage 2 SATs tests, provisional figures released by the Department for Eduation (DfE) reveal.

The DfE has stressed this figure (53 per cent) is not comparable to last year – when 80 per cent of pupils met the standard – because of changes in the national curriculum and accountability framework.

The government this morning set out the new “scaled scores”, which show how many marks a child would have to get in each test – reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG), in order to meet the “expected standard” of 100.

Today’s results show:

– 53 per cent of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths

– 66  per cent met the expected standard in reading

– 70 per cent met the expected standard in maths

– 72 per cent met the expected standard in SPAG

– 74 per cent met the expected standard in writing

Click here to see the top and bottom available scores.

Last year, to achieve a level 4 (the previous expected standard) pupils would have needed to get 46 per cent in their maths tests and 36 per cent in reading.

This year, under the new, tougher standards, those percentages have increased to 54.5 per cent for maths, and 42 per cent for reading.

SPAG has remained the same at 61 per cent.

It is not yet known how many schools will fall below the floor standard – a combination of today’s results and pupil progress – but the government has insisted that “no more than 1 percentage point” extra primary schools would be affected.

Originally, Nicky Morgan, education secretary, had said it would only be “1 per cent” of schools, but later altered that to “1 percentage point”, which increased the expected number by 160 schools (to 843).

The DfE told Schools Week it would not be announcing how many schools are “below the floor” until final results are published in December.

Morgan said the government had raised the bar to a more “rigorous system” and that said she “knew” it was “asking more”, adding: “This is the first year we have assessed pupils under the new more rigorous system and it is no surprise that this year’s results look different to previous years, but despite that the majority of pupils have achieved above and beyond the new expected standard.”

She said today’s results were a “good start” and “vindicates [the DfE’s] decision to raise standards and will help ensure those who need extra help get the support they need to lay the foundations for a bright future”.

– The claim by Morgan today that the results are a “good start” has been called into question by the profession.