SEVEN-YEAR-OLDS in Runcorn are falling behind the rest of the country in English, maths and science, according to Government figures.
Assessments in the core subjects have revealed a marked difference between their performance and the national average.
Halton is the second worst performing authority in the North West for maths as one-in-seven youngsters fail to reach the expected standard.
Children should reach level two in the core subjects within their first two years at schools.
Just three years ago 90% of pupils were reaching level two in maths but this year the figure is 86%.
Boys from Halton and Manchester now have the lowest attainment rate in the region.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families’ figures, show an equally stark decline in performance in English and science, with a quarter of seven-year-olds failing to achieve the basic standard in writing
Since 2004 the number of children reaching level two has fallen from 85% to 79% in reading and from 82% to 77% in writing.
Figures show all four Runcorn schools are below the national percentages for pupils attaining A*-C grades including English and maths.
The national average is 46%, the Heath achieved 42% and Halton high just 22%.
A Halton Council spokesman said Key Stage 1 attainment was a ‘priority’ and interventions in the poorest performing schools was having a positive impact.
He said: ‘Although, overall, there has been a decline in the percentage of pupils reaching Level 2 and above, the attainment of boys has improved in 2007, resulting in a narrowing of the gap between girls and boys.’