HALTON pupils are achieving higher grades than the national average, new figures reveal.

Schools judged as good or better, inspected under the new criteria is 64.7 per cent, compared to 62.5 per cent nationally.

Overall, 76 per cent of all Halton schools were judged as good or outstanding at the end of December 2013.

And 25 per cent of the borough's schools were hailed outstanding compared to 20 per cent nationally.

Inspectors declared 63 per cent of Halton’s secondary schools have been judged as good or better.

As of March, 2014, 78 per cent of Halton’s primary schools have been judged as good or better.

Halton Clr Ged Philbin, board member for children, young people and families, said: "These latest figures show we have come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years.

"Young people in Halton can now expect to achieve their potential and meet their goals in life, more than ever before."

Halton’s results have improved year on year for the past four years from a position of being below the national average to being above the national average.

In 2013, 62 per cent of Halton pupils achieved five or more A* -C including English and mathematics compared to the national average of 60 per cent.

Halton is now ranked eighth out of 23 local authorities in the north west and second against its statistical neighbours.

At the end of key stage 2 in 2013, 78 per cent of pupils achieved level 4 and above for reading, writing and mathematics combined, compared with the national average of 75 per cent.