HARD-working pupils in St Helens bucked the national trend by increasing the percentage of pupils gaining five good GCSE pass rates.
Council officials say 86.1 per cent of students in the borough achieved five A* to C grades, up from 85.5 per cent last year.
There was tiny dip in the percentage of youngsters winning five or more A* to C grades including English and maths, from 55.1 per cent last year to 54.9 per cent.
Among the best performing schools in the borough was Cowley International College.
The best percentage of pupils winning five *A to C grades jumped from 50 per cent to 57 per cent, while Hope Academy also saw an increase with 50 per cent achieving the five grade mark.
St Cuthbert’s Catholic Community Colege increased its proportion of pupils with five A* to C, including maths and English, by two per cent.
However, a council spokeswoman said town hall officials were declining to release results from other schools across the borough, insisting all sets of results remained “provisional” and could change as they remained subject to challenge by pupils and school staff.
Councillor Sue Murphy, cabinet member for Schools and Lifelong Learning, said: ‘These are excellent results especially as first indications show that nationally results have dipped for the second year running.
“So my congratulations to all young people who took their exams this year and worked hard to achieve their results. We do know that there is still much work to be done and the council and all schools are committed to delivering an education service that equips all our young people for the future.”
Andy Dempsey, director of Children and Young People’s Services, added: “This is another good year for the young people and schools of St Helens despite the greater challenge that has been introduced into the examination system.
“I would like to congratulate pupils across the borough for their achievements and teachers, parents and governors for the support and guidance they have provided.
“I wish all the young people of St Helens every success in the future whether it is in employment, training or continuing in education.”