Preston school is top of the table

Great achievement: Headteacher Gill Jackson with pupils at Archbishop temple High School

Great achievement: Headteacher Gill Jackson with pupils at Archbishop temple High School

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A Preston school is celebrating after new data revealed students produced the best GCSE results of any state secondary in the North of England.

According to controversial “provisional” statistics produced by the Department for Education Archbishop Temple CE High topped the Lancashire results table with 87 per cent of last summer’s leaves achieving five or more GCSEs at A*- C including maths and English.

However, headteacher Gill Jackson said the actual figure was two per cent higher - putting the Fulwood school above all other non-selective state schools in an area which includes Cumbria and Cheshire.

She said: “I approach these tables with some trepidation. We are used to being high in the Lancashire tables but these figures cover an area up to the Scottish Borders down to Cheshire and Merseyside etc so I am absolutely made up for the school. “It is nice confirmation and I am very. very proud of what we do here and of what pupils have done.”

Fulwood Academy, Preston’s only sponsored academy, saw benchmark figures rise from 37 per cent to 45 percent, the largest single increase in the city.

Principal Stephen Henry said: “The Academy has transformed itself with the help of its staff and parents and we are noticing that at our Open Evenings there has been a significant increase in demand for places for next year.”

The “provisional” tables, which the Government said contained “unconfirmed data” came under fire from schools and teaching unions because they say they do not present a true reflection of school progress.

A spokeswoman for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said:“We are not clear why the Government has decided to publish these data now. Is it because parents are choosing secondary schools for their children? If so, this is a bizarre move because points scores tell us very little about the things that matter. Parents need more than just exam results - they want to know that their children are happy and that they are progressing and flourishing as expected.”