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The pursuit of perfection;Primary school results;News;News and opinion

PERFECTION in national curriculum tests remains elusive for all but a tiny proportion of primary schools, league tables published this week show.

Only 102 of almost 15,000 schools saw all of their 11-year-olds reaching expected standards in English, maths and science this year. That represents less than 1 per cent of schools hitting the magic 100 per cent score in all three test subjects.

And only Shenington Church of England primary in Oxfordshire, with 12 pupils, has managed to score 100 per cent in all subjects over the four years of the tables.

Many hurdles lie ahead for a school seeking the "perfect" 300 cumulative score in the three tests which will mean a place at the top of national league tables.

Unsurprisingly, the tables suggest that having a small Year 6 is an advantage in achieving maximum scores. Seventy-eight of the 102 maximum results were achieved by schools with a class of no more than 20. Schools with fewer pupils with special needs are also at an advantage.

Even the aspirations of the very best schools can be scuppered by a single pupil being absent.

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