STUDENTS who live in poorer parts of the city are performing worse than pupils from more affluent areas.

Less than 30 per cent of children from Gorse Hill, Rainbow Hill and Warndon achieved 'strong passes' in GCSE English and maths last year.

However, over 60 per cent of children from St Peter’s, Claines and Battenhall secured high grades in the subjects in 2017.

Councillors have blamed the disparity on funding cuts and deprivation.

City councillor Roger Berry, who represents Gorse Hill, said: “Educational attainment is one of the many indices of deprivation.

“The wards of Warndon and Tolladine have some areas of the greatest need in the city.

“We have two areas in these three wards [Rainbow Hill, Gorse Hill and Warndon] in the top 10 per cent of most deprived areas of the country.

“It’s to do with parental support, the economics of attendance, parental incomes. Most middle class parents provide a lot of extra activities for their children.

“If you haven’t got any money it’s more difficult.”

The councillor listed parts of Tolladine and Warndon as some of the most deprived areas in the city.

Cllr Berry said levels of academic success also correlate with rates of unemployment and free school meals.

He added: “There’s no single solution, it’s about giving kids opportunity, giving parents adequate funding to bring families up, giving schools decent funding comparable to private schools and giving people decent housing conditions.”

The councillor said children in his ward - like youngsters across the country - usually go to schools near their homes.

County councillor Ceri Stalker, who represents Gorse Hill and Warndon, said: “Schools are struggling in areas that can’t always afford to help.

“It makes me sad that children in the areas I represent aren’t given the best deal.

“They are areas where people are struggling on a day-to-day basis. School cuts aren’t helping.

“We need to stop the cuts and put more funding in.”

She added that schools in her division would lose hundreds of pounds in real terms per pupil in 2020, compared with funding in 2015.

Citing figures from the website, she said the following amount of money would be lost from schools in her area: £53,435 from Oasis Academy, £142,363 from Hollymount School, £47,723 from Fairfield Community School, £56,209 from Cranham Primary School, £64,916 from St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and £195,549 from Tudor Grange Academy.

Cllr Stalker said: “The inference is they [teachers] won’t have as much time to focus on each child.”

The council defines 'strong passes' as between grades 9-5.

26 per cent of children from Rainbow Hill achieved 'strong passes' in English and maths last year, compared with 27 from Gorse Hill and 29 from Warndon.

Whereas 63 per cent of pupils from St Peter's, scored 'strong passes', 67 from Claines and 69 from Battenhall.

County councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member for education and skills, said: "We want every child in Worcestershire to have a good quality of education.

"National research demonstrates there are many reasons why education attainment varies across different areas of a county. This is the same across the whole of the country.

"We use national research to work closely with our schools and partners to tackle variable education performance."