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St Benedict's Catholic School, in Bury, came fifth and Ixworth Free School was eighth after both achieving an "above average" Progress 8 score in the latest league table, published by the Department for Education.

A Progress 8 score above zero means a school's pupils made more progress, on average, than those across England who achieved similar results at the end of primary or junior school.

Haybridge High was the only secondary school in the district - and third highest in Worcestershire - to be ranked above the national average for its "Progress 8" score.

The aim of the new performance measures is to encourage schools to offer a broad, balanced curriculum with a focus on an academic core at KS4.

Jim Skinner, chief executive of the Grammar School Heads' Association, said: "It's reassuring to see, as we would expect, that selective schools are dominating the Attainment 8 measure, but it is perhaps more significant that they are disproportionately well represented in Progress 8".

Overall Derbyshire scored 45.6 - the English state school average was 46.3.

Sheffield's best and worst schools have been revealed as official figures show 365 education centres have failed to meet the government's minimum standards.

Suffolk has seen a fall in its Progress 8 score after achieving -0.01 compared to 0.02 a year ago.

Cherry Tingle, principal, said: "UTC GCSE results in English, maths, sciences and engineering were all well above national in 2017 and have also improved significantly from 2016".

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Previously, schools were ranked on how many pupils had achieved at least GCSE grade C in five subjects, including English and maths.

Points allocated according to grades the pupil achieves across the 8 subjects are added together to give the Attainment 8 score.

The new GCSE exams are rated from 9-1, with 9 being the highest possible mark.

"For the second year running, these excellent results are a strong foundation for moving towards becoming an outstanding school, we are immensely proud of all our pupils' achievements".

Wolverhampton Girls' High was best of the bunch for the attainment 8 measure, scoring 77.

The rise comes amid major changes to England's exams system, including the introduction of a new grading system, which has meant the data includes English and maths GCSE results awarded new 9-1 grades while other subjects received traditional A*-G grades.

'Our message to the DfE, trust boards, governors and inspectors is to avoid leaping to judgement on the basis of these performance tables, ' he said.

The DfE insisted that where schools have fallen below the floor standard, the data is "a starting point for a conversation about school improvement".


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