EAST Cheshire has come fifth in the country for providing ‘excellent education’ to youngsters in their first year at school.

The new research released by the Department for Education shows impressive improvements in children’s development by the end of their reception class.

More youngsters than ever had reached a good level of development in emotional development, communication, language and literacy skills.

It means Cheshire East is the fifth best-performing local authority in England out of 152 local authorities.

The authority also came third in the country for narrowing the gap between the lowest and highest achieving students.

Clr Rachel Bailey said: “We are delighted with this news, and it confirms what we already know – that the standard of education within Cheshire East is excellent.

“Evidence shows that giving learners the best opportunity as early as possible provides the platform for greater achievements as they progress through their educational years and beyond.”