The pass mark for Sats tests has dropped over the past decade, official figures show. Eleven-year-olds last year needed scores of 43 per cent in English and 45 per cent in maths to reach level 4, the expected standard. Their counterparts in 1999 needed 48 and 52 per cent to achieve the same level. Teaching unions insist that this does not represent a drop in standards. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, claimed it was "wilful manipulation of statistics".