HALTON has been singled out for Government praise after achieving the most improved GCSE results in the whole country
Figures released by the Department of Children, Schools and Families show the number of pupils gaining five A*-C grades in the borough increased from 52.6% in 2005-6 to 61.1% for the year 2006-7 - an increase of 8.5%.
Government chiefs say the improvement is the biggest in the country, with the borough's results now considered above average for the North West and England as a whole.
A Government spokeswoman said: 'Halton was actually the local authority with the greatest percentage increase for five good A*-C grades between 2006-7 at GCSE in England.'
Schools Minister Jim Knight lauded the combined efforts of teachers, pupils and parents for the improvement.
He said: These excellent esults demonstrate the hard work and commitment put in on a daily basis by teachers, pupils, and parents in Halton.
'Nationally the proportion of pupils getting five good GCSEs rose by 1.8% to 60.3%.
'Everyone involved in education in Halton today should be really proud of these results.
We are determined to build on this progress and to put an even greater emphasis on the progress of each individual.
'GCSEs are a vital stepping stone to further study and the world of work, and I'm pleased to see that more pupils are making the grade.'
The results also show that the percentage of Halton pupils leaving school with no GCSEs fell from 3.1% to 1.9%.
However, boys in the borough are still lagging behind girls - in keeping with the UK trend.
While 56.5% of boys collected
five A*-C grades, their female
Counterparts chalked up 65.8%.
Article and Pictures Courtesy of The Cheshire news