Half of primary pupils fail to make the grade
Maths test scores were also beneath the regional and national averages.
The DfE found that the number of high achievers in Halton was 3%, again smaller than the 5% recorded for the North West and rest of England.
However, the borough was unlike many other areas in that Runcorn and Widnes’s disadvantaged pupils outperformed their better-off peers, with 51% of poorer children in Halton achieving the expected standard in the core subjects of reading, writing and maths.
More youngsters receiving free school meals (50%) also reached the marker level than those who did not have subsidised dining.
Disadvantaged pupils were still behind the national and regional averages when compared to children from similar socio-economic backgrounds.
The DfE said the test results were the first to be ● published since the introduction of a ‘more challenging’ National Curriculum in 2014.
Halton Borough Council has said the figures were unlike past years.
Cllr Tom McInerney (children, young people and families), said: “Halton pupils have tradition- ally performed well at Key Stage 2.
“2016 was the first year of the new more challenging assessment arrangements.
“We are working together with all our schools to ensure the best possible outcomes for pupils in future years.” ●
A more ‘challenging’ assessment regime may be a factor in Halton primary school pupils’ performance figures
Cllr Tom McInerney