North Yorkshire's schools and colleges are again amongst the best in the national league tables published today, with overall scores and those of many schools showing strong improvements.
At GCSE, North Yorkshire is first in Yorkshire and Humberside and ranks 22nd out of 150 authorities nationally for its school's GCSE 5 A*-C results including English and Maths - with over 61 per cent of pupils reaching that level, well above the national rate of just over 53 per cent.
Six of North Yorkshire schools improved their results by more than 10 per cent with two, Norton College and The Wensleydale school around 20 per cent. The number of pupils achieving at least 5 GCSEs at A*-C, or equivalent qualifications, in any subjects rose to 81.6 per cent - again well above the national figure of 75.4 per cent.
This year the Government has introduced a new element to the league tables - the English Baccalaureate, which is awarded to pupils who achieve at least a C grade in 5 specific GCSE courses - English, maths, a humanity, a language and either two separate sciences or the combined double science exam. Schools and the Local Authority have not yet had the opportunity to consider fully the implications of this new measure. The challenge will be to ensure that providing pupils with access to the English Bacc does not reduce their opportunities to follow other equally worthwhile courses and other areas of study.
Although the measure was only announced in the autumn, the Government has calculated the new English Bac retrospectively on exams taken last summer. On that measure North Yorkshire ranks 25th of all local authorities and first in the Yorkshire and Humber region, with 21 per cent of pupils across the county gaining the English Bac compared to 15.6 per cent nationally. At St Aidan's Church of England High School, Ripon Grammar and Skipton Girls' High School over 50 per cent of pupils gained an English Bac.
For post-16 students North Yorkshire ranks 10th out of 150 authorities nationally, with students achieving an average of 798 points - equivalent to better than two grade As and a grade B at A-levels - compared to 745 points nationally.
County Councillor John Watson, North Yorkshire's executive member for schools said: "This is a tremendous result for our young people and school staff who have worked extremely hard to reach the highest standards.
"These results once again show North Yorkshire's commitment to ensuring that all students can meet their full potential and that our schools continue to offer excellence and a broad balanced appropriate curriculum."