PRESCHOOL children in County Durham are performing in-line with the national average for the first time.

At their latest cabinet meeting yesterday, Durham County councillors heard how 69 per cent of children aged nought to five reached a Good Level of Development in 2016 - an increase from 64 per cent in 2015.

Councillors also heard how the achievements of children and young people at Key Stages one, two and four is better than or on a par with the national average.

Key Stage five students also continued to be above national averages.

Councillor Ossie Johnson, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “The performance of our children and young people is superb.

“I’d like to pay tribute to them for all their hard work as well as to all educational establishments in County Durham with whom who we work closely to ensure the best possible outcomes for all our children.

“As a local education authority we have made school improvement a real priority and the results tell their own story.”