MORE five-year-olds in Swindon achieved a good level of development in 2018, according to standards set by the Department for Education.

Over the last school year, 71 per cent of the pupils reached this standard in the early years assessment, up from 70 per cent in 2017. The average rate for England was 71.5.

The department benchmark for children with a good level of development is to achieve the minimum expected level in five of the seven areas assessed - personal, social and emotional development, physical development, communication and language, mathematics and literacy. Teachers make the evaluation in the final term of reception.

The subject where most pupils, 87 per cent, met the minimum expected score in Swindon was expressive arts and design. But only 70 per cent met the minimum in literacy.

A total of 2,942 pupils were evaluated in Swindon this year, 1,495 girls and 1,447 boys and the average mark across all the subjects was 34.5 out of a possible 51 against an England average of 34.6. Girls did better than boys, scoring on average 2.4 more points.