Schools from across the North East are among the best in the country when it comes to getting the most out of their pupils.
Six schools, from across Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear received national recognition for how far pupils progressed from when they start school to sitting their GCSEs.
They were found to be in the top 20% of schools by the SSAT — the organisation for school improvement and collaboration — and have been awarded an SSAT Educational Outcomes Award recognising their successes.
These schools are Burnside Business & Enterprise College, in Newcastle, Castle View Enterprise Academy, in Sunderland, Emmanuel College, in Gateshead, Greenfield Community College, in Newton Aycliffe, Northumberland Church of England Academy, in Ashington and The North Durham Academy in Stanley.
The awards, which also included high attainment and outstanding continuous improvement, were presented during a ceremony at Emmanuel College.
The schools in the top 20% for high attainment in GCSE exams were Burnside Business and Enterprise College and Northumberland Church of England Academy.
In the top 20% of most improved GCSE grades, including maths and English, was Greenfield Community College.
Sue Williamson, chief executive of SSAT, said: “These schools should be congratulated for their exceptional achievement. They have proved themselves to be leading the field in improving GCSE outcomes for their students.
“These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership teams, and show what can be achieved when skilled teachers have high expectations and ambition for every young person.”
More than 90% of students at Emmanuel College achieved five or more passes at C or better, including English and maths.
It was one of the best performing schools in the region and recorded a marked rise on the last three years’ results for the college. Its overall pass rate of 99.5% was its best ever result.
Congratulating staff and students on the awards, principal Jonathan Winch said: “We have always taken a longer-term and broader view of education. Our students are tomorrow’s leaders, so we place the emphasis on character first and last.
“As a Christian ethos school, qualities of courtesy, of compassion and of courage are far more important to us than bare grades. But of course, if these qualities are to the fore then good grades follow.
“Our students live up to our expectations. They take responsibility for their own learning and they work hard.”