PARENTS will be disappointed to hear that test scores for 11-year-olds in Oxfordshire are now marginally below the national average.

When you get a talented year group, those pupils will give their school’s results a welcome boost and teachers are bound to experience variations in exam results year on year.

But other schools will have pupils who are not so able and as a consequence their results will not be so impressive.

It’s refreshing to hear Melinda Tilley, the county council’s cabinet member for education, say Oxfordshire pupils should be achieving a set of results that are above the national average.

That’s an understandable aspiration for a county containing one of the country’s top universities and the Culham and Harwell science centres.

Achieving improvements in results must start in schools themselves but parents also have a part to play in supporting children at home.

These are by no means a disastrous set of results — some schools have performed very well.

But it is only right that education leaders use them as a wake-up call to ensure that results do improve and do not start deteriorating.

No-one wants a return to the situation some headteachers in Oxford were faced with in 2010 when Key Stage One pupils achieved the worst results in the country.