Yesterday the government published national key stage 2 results, which showed that nearly half of all 10- and 11-year-olds who took the tests failed to meet the expected standard.
But the education secretary Nicky Morgan has called on "all involved" to look at the results "for what they are – a reflection of how well children this year have performed against a new curriculum".
Speaking at the Education Britain Summit in Westminster, Ms Morgan said: "We had to bring our primary school curriculum in line with the best in the world, because nothing is more important than ensuring that young people master the basics of reading, writing and mathematics early on. "If they don’t, they will be playing catch-up for the rest of their lives."
The politician added that the reforms were introduced to deliver "real social justice".
Bid to raise standards
Ministers introduced the new, tougher tests in a bid to raise standards but the assessments were heavily criticised by heads and teachers for being too difficult.
More than half a million pupils sat the assessments in May, with children leaving the reading test in tears.
Heads had called for the government to not publish this year’s results for fear that they would mislead parents about their schools’ performance.
This week, 98 per cent of heads, surveyed by the NAHT headteachers' union, said that the tests were tougher than they had expected.
The government said the results should not be compared with previous years.