PRIMARY school children have proved themselves to be a class act when it comes to mastering the three Rs, new figures out show.

Year six pupils scored record breaking results, outperforming the rest of the country and continuing their year on year improvement in the key stage two SATs exams.

The pass rate was the joint third highest in Greater Manchester and above the national average.

Cllr Kevin McKeon, Bolton Council’s cabinet member for schools, said: “I am absolutely delighted and it is once again the product of incredible hard work from the staff and headteachers of all the primary schools and the invaluable support offered to school by local authority officers.

“As a school governor and cabinet member I see very regularly the huge effort schools are putting in to help every child realise their potential.”

The Department of Education published the figures.

A breakdown of Bolton’s results show that 80 per cent of 11-year-olds gained at least a level four, the standard expected of the age group.

This is one per cent up on last year and one per cent higher than the regional and national average.

However, the figures do show one in five children — 20 per cent — are leaving primary school not being able to read, write and maths at the level expected for their age.

More children achieved the more challenging level 4B — 69 per cent, a three per cent rise — and 24 per cent reached level 5. Both higher than the national average.

Reflecting the national trend, girls continued to outperform boys by six percentage points — which has been the same difference since 2012, while nationally the gender gap narrowed slightly from seven to six points.

In reading and writing 93 per cent of pupils are making two levels of progress between starting and finishing primary school and in maths that figure was 91 per cent — all up from last year.

Cllr McKeon added: “There is a tremendous level of collaboration between schools and the vast majority of parents are interested in their child’s education, which is a reflection of the good relationship schools have with parents.”

He added that the figures were a platform to build on to achieve “even better results in the future”.