Schools are failing to get disadvantaged children to achieve the GCSE results they were judged to be capable of.

Councillors and council officers promised a renewed focus on improving poor pupils’ exam results at a meeting on Monday.

They spoke after a report showed Brighton and Hove’s disadvantaged children underperformed last year, compared with both the English national average, and their personalised anticipated grades.

In Key Stage Two exams, sat at the end of primary school, the city’s pupils outperformed the England average in 2017.

But disadvantaged children did worse on every measure.

The percentage of disadvantaged pupils in England who achieved expected standard in reading writing and maths last year was 48. In Brighton it was 45 per cent.

Key Stage four results - GCSEs - are measured by “Attainment 8” and “Progress 8” statistics which show how pupils have done across eight subjects, or how pupils’ performance has improved across eight subjects.

For Attainment 8 the England average score for disadvantaged pupils last year was 37. In Brighton and Hove, it was 33.1.

The Progress 8 measure takes a pupil’s earlier attainment and generates anticipated GCSE results, against which their actual results are compared.

A positive score means they did better than expected.

The national average Progress 8 measure last year for disadvantaged children was -0.40, but in Brighton it was much lower at -0.79.

This means the city’s poorer pupils underperformed expectation more significantly than the national average.

The report concludes: “There are key priorities that remain with regard to outcomes for disadvantaged pupils, progress and maths performance. Despite intervention and some improvement these are ongoing areas for development.”

Brighton and Hove City Council’s executive director for failing children and learning, Pinaki Ghoshal, said “In terms of deprivation there is more to do. There are no magic solutions, there are no magic bullets, we’re going to work on it year on year.”

Councillor Alex Phillips called the situation for disadvantaged children in the city “bleak.”

Councillor Vanessa Brown said: “It’s obvious our greatest priority needs to be improving results for our disadvantaged children.”

The report said that at the end of December 2017, 91.7 per cent of schools in Brighton & Hove were judged by Ofsted to be good or outstanding.

This was above the national average of 89.3 per cent.

The percentage of pupils currently attending a school judged to be good or outstanding is 87.9 per cent against a national average of 87.1 per cent.

Results at Key Stage 1 are above national averages for reading and writing and, and in line with the average for maths.

At Key Stage 2 results for combined achievement in the Three Rs are above the national average.

And at GCSE (Key Stage 4), where results are now compared nationally by attainment across eight subjects, Brighton and Hove’s pupils managed a score of 46.8, higher than the national average of 42.6.