PRIMARY school pupils in Dorset and Poole are at the bottom of the table for achievement in reading, writing and maths in the south west.

Figures released by Ofsted reveal just 60 per cent of 11-year-olds in the Dorset County Council area achieved the expected standard and 61 per cent in Poole.

But in Bournemouth the figure was 66 per cent, two per cent above the average for England.

The three local authorities had mixed results in tables released as part of the Ofsted annual report.

Poole had the highest results of the 15 authorities in the region at GCSE, followed by Bournemouth in second place and Dorset in third.

The percentage of primary schools judged to be Good or Outstanding was 89 per cent in Poole, 85 per cent in Bournemouth and 78 per cent in Dorset. The national average is 87 per cent.

At secondary school the figure is 91 per cent for Bournemouth, 78 per cent for Poole and 70 per cent for Dorset with a national average of 75 per cent.

Bournemouth has a higher rate of fixed period exclusions with 15.5 per cent of pupils in secondary school affected.

The figure for Dorset is 7.9 per cent and 7.35 per cent for Poole, the lowest in the south west.

The region also saw 96 per cent of childminders rated as Good or Outstanding along with 95 per cent of nurseries and pre-schools.

Bradley Simmons, Ofsted’s south west director, said he is concerned about the variation across the region’s schools and added: “I am concerned there has been a decline in inspection outcomes.”

He said he is also worried about exclusion rates, particularly among children with special educational needs of disabilities.

“There are some places where exclusions are particularly high” he added. “We must do more for these children.”