FOUR Halton schools are in special measures and eight more have been branded as ‘requiring improvement’ by Ofsted inspectors.

Bankfield, West Bank, St Augustine’s and The Park are in special measures.

Education experts are already helping them to recuperate.

The Grange has had two consecutive ‘requiring improvement’ ratings and SS Peter & Paul, The Bridge, Murdishaw West, Simms Cross, St Clements, The Brow and Victoria Road have also been told they must raise standards.

Gerald Meehan, Halton Council’s strategic director for children, reassured parents there was no need to worry.

He blamed a change in Ofsted’s categorisation.

Mr Meehan said: “Ofsted has raised the bar in term of school inspections. They have removed ‘satisfactory’ or ‘adequate’ and replaced it with ‘requires improvement to be good’. It is causing people to be unduly concerned.

“Schools haven’t suddenly gone down.

“Eighty per cent of our primary schools and 56 per cent of our secondary schools are good or better.

“Our key stage two performance is above the national average. Our GCSE performance is above the national average of 63 per cent.

“We are focusing on our schools that require improvement to be good and doing everything we can to support them.”