PRIMARY schools in Poole are among the worst performing in the country - and now the Schools Minister is demanding to know why.

Key Stage Two test results published yesterday revealed the Borough of Poole is in the bottom five across the whole country, with only 73 per cent of pupils achieving the level four standard in reading, writing and maths.

And Schools Minister Nick Gibb said he would now be summoning Poole council bosses to a meeting to hear how they intend to raise standards.

"As a One Nation government we are committed to driving up standards as a matter of social justice," he said.

"That is why I will be writing to the Director of Children's Services and Directors of Education of councils that are bottom of the league tables and asking that they meet me as a matter of urgency to explain how they intend to improve the teaching of reading and arithmetic in the primary schools under their control."

The other worst performing local education authorities were Medway, Luton, Doncaster and Bedford, all of whom also had a 73 per cent pass rate.

At the other end of the table was Kensington and Chelsea, where 90 per cent of pupils achieved the level four standard, followed by Richmond upon Thames and Sutton.

Overall, 80 per cent of pupils achieved the expected level four in reading, writing and maths and the percentage reaching the expected standard in maths was the highest ever, at 87 per cent.

Cllr Mike White, cabinet member with responsibility for education, said: "The results show that some schools have made progress at Key Stage Two but overall it is clear there is still much more work to be done to achieve consistent improvement across all schools in Poole.

"The council is committed to working in partnership with schools and governing bodies, and will continue to challenge and support them to raise educational standards and outcomes for their pupils.

"Our aspiration is for every child in Poole to have the opportunity to attend a good or outstanding school. The council is developing a comprehensive action plan to raise standards and recently agreed to invest a further £140,000 to support school improvement in Poole.

"A cross-party working group of councillors has also been established to monitor the progress being made to raise educational standards."