Half of the education targets the Department for Children, Schools and Families set itself for 2008 have been missed, according to an official report.
Four goals for raising performance at foundation stage, and for improving primary results in English and maths, and test results for 14-year-olds, were not met.
The department aimed to have 53 per cent of children reaching a "good" level of development by the end of the foundation stage, but only 49 per cent achieved the level.
It also failed to make any impression on the difference between the most disadvantaged areas and the rest of England in foundation stage development between 2005 and 2008.
Only 78 per cent of 11-year-olds achieved the expected level in maths, which meant the target of 85 per cent for both English and maths was also missed.
The department also wanted 85 per cent of 14-year-olds to achieve the expected level in English, maths and ICT, but only 73 per cent reached the level in maths.
However, the "autumn performance report" shows the department did meet two of its school-based targets and exceeded two more.
Its successes included exceeding the goal of having at least 60 per cent of 16-year-olds achieve five A-C* GCSEs or equivalent by 2008. Provisional results show 64 per cent reached the benchmark.
And 90 per cent of pupils were taking part in at least two hours' "high-quality PE and school sport" a week by this year, compared with the target of 85 per cent.