ONE of the top performing education authorities in the country is investigating performance after reading writing and maths results for 11-year-olds fell below the national average.

The key stage two results for North Yorkshire last year revealed 73 per cent achieved the required level, compared to 75 per cent nationally and 75 per cent for similar neighbouring authorities. It was two per cent down on the previous year.

There is also concern about the early years foundation stage where the County has 44 per cent achieving a good level of development compared to a national average of 52 per cent.

This is a real blow for the council which consistently is among the top 20 per cent of education authorities in the country for GCSE results (key stage 4).

This group maintained their high level with 64.5 per cent of students getting five or more GCSE’s at grade A to C including English and Maths last year. This compares to a national average of 59.2 per cent.

Executive member for schools Coun Arthur Barker said the authority is disappointed but added work is already underway to address the problems.

He told members of the executive committee: “Key stage four is performing exceptionally well, but it is more disappointing to note Key Stage 2 is not performing quite so well. There has been a slip back this year.

"This is being looked at very hard with targeted support. The Schools Commission is also looking at different ways of improving schools.

“We need to close the gap, we are performing less well than other authorities. We need to identify areas where we need to improve and reassure members of the public and fellow councillors that things are in hand to address this issue."