The revised targets indicate the Government's increasing determination to close the gap in achievement as fears grow that the poorest pupils are being left behind.
The Government is expected to miss next year's targets of 85 per cent of 11 year-olds reaching the required marks in English and maths goals that were originally set for 2004.
But primary heads are unlikely to welcome any change to targets that focuses on English and maths because it would put them under pressure to narrow the curriculum.
Nationally, all children reaching level 2 at age 7 and 45 per cent of those with level 1 will now be expected to reach level 4 by age 11 wherever possible.
Similar changes will take effect at key stage 3, where a combined target for English and maths will be set together with separate progress targets. The current target for science will remain as it is, but no ICT targets will be set.
Moving targets, page 3