NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 4th, 2013.
Seven-year-olds in England are better at reading than their peers in Wales and improving more quickly than their counterparts in Scotland, writes Richard Adams in the Guardian.
The new research highlights the diverging paths the home countries have taken since devolution in the 1990s.
Children in London outperformed all other regions in the study, published on Wednesday, suggesting that the concentration on early years education introduced by the previous Labour government, along with the rise in school quality in the capital, has paid off.
The research comes as tension over education changes has produced a split between London and Cardiff over exam and curriculum policy, with the Welsh government resisting many of the changes introduced by the coalition government and the Department for Education under Michael Gove.