DECLINING educational performance in secondary schools was discussed at a Cheshire West and Chester council meeting.
Frodsham and Helsby councillor Andrew Dawson asked education chief Cllr Arthur Harada to respond to figures for the first year of the new authority, which he suggested has seen a decline against the national average.
“What measures are he and his department putting in place to address this issue and get the educational attainment of our school children to at least the average of like authorities and then in future years to best in class,” said Cllr Dawson.
Claiming Cheshire West and Chester ranked 9th out of 11 authorities in England and argued that educational attainment in Wirral, Warrington and Cheshire East exceeded that of Cheshire West and Chester.
Cllr Dawson believed that as Cheshire West and Chester is said to be significantly better than average in terms of deprivation, children in poverty and homelessness but could not achieve the English average in education, this seemed to suggest under performance by most schools and colleges in the borough.
Cllr Harada agreed the percentage of children achieving five or more good GCSEs including English and Maths ‘is not as good as we would like’.
He said the council had begun tackling the issue as soon as the results had been published and by the middle of September last year, all secondary schools had been engaged.
Cllr Harada revealed that a new group of experienced officials had been set up which met twice each term to monitor progress in all schools and one-to-one tuition had been introduced with children on free school meals as a priority.