WELSH 11-year-olds have matched their English counterparts, making good progress in last summer's national curriculum tests.
The results announced by the Assembly's Education Secretary Rosemary Butler this week show that the proportion reaching level 4 (the expected standard) rose to 68 per cent in English, up by four points on last year, and 67 per cent in maths, a six-point increase.
In science, 77 per cent reached level 4, an eight-point rise, but the Welsh language results failed to improve, remaining at 65 per cent.
These results puts Welsh schools within sight of the Assembly's 2002 target - that between 70 and 80 per cent of the principality's 11-year-olds reach level 4 in all four subjects.
The country's 14-year-olds did not, however, do so well and registered no improvement on last year. In one subject, English, the proportion reaching level 5 fell by 1 percentage point.