EDUCATION chiefs say they are working to improve school exams performance after disappointing results in some subjects.
Hartlepool students’ success in GCSE maths fell in 2014 and is significantly below the national average.
And a town education advisor says Hartlepool is struggling to recruit enough top quality maths teachers.
Maths results also fell slightly nationally.
Provisional Key Stage 4 results for Hartlepool also indicate the town is significantly below the national average in science.
But results for the subject improved for the third year in a row and the gap is closing.
Mark Patton, a senior secondary school improvement officer, told councillors: “The standards in maths is significantly below the national average and there is very little sign at the moment of things getting any better.
“It’s an issue education commissioners are grappling with, as well as schools and teachers, not only in Hartlepool but across the Tees Valley and nationally.
“Recruitment of high quality mathematics teachers is proving an issue again for us.”
But standards in English improved for the third year running in Hartlepool and are just above the national average.
Michael Lee, head of English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, urged caution when comparing the Key Stage 4 figures to previous years, as from September 2013 exam resit results are not included.
“It is unfortunate this year does not reflect the actual achievements of every single student in Hartlepool,” he said. Councillor Chris Simmons, chairman of the Children’s Services Committee, said the town’s results were heading in the right direction.
He said: “While there are some mildly disappointing areas of the report, particularly around mathematics, we are not alone in this.
“This is a national problem and we are doing our best to address those problems.
“The work of the Education Commission will have an impact on the way in which things happen in Hartlepool and we are generally on an upward trend.”
He also paid tribute to the efforts of school staff, governors, parents and students.
Coun Simmons added: “I know our colleagues work really hard and are so anxious to make sure our youngsters do as well as they possibly can.”
The Mail reported last month how the number of Hartlepool students clinching five or more A* to C grades, including maths and English, fell from 58 per cent in 2013 to 55.1 per cent last year.
That is in line with the national average, which fell from 60.6 per cent to 56.6 per cent.