The latest school and college league tables were released by the Department for Education this week.
At GCSE, fee-paying Tower College was top of the tree in St Helens - with 95 per cent of pupils achieving at least five A*-C grades including English and maths.
Significant improvements were recorded at Cowley International College and Hope Academy, with Cowley up to 58 per cent - from 50 per cent the previous two years - and Hope Academy up to 51 per cent compared to 43 per cent in 2012.
High flyers included Rainford High with 76 per cent, Rainhill High with 65 per cent and De La Salle with 61 per cent - all above the national average.
However the likes of Sutton Academy, St Augustine of Canterbury and St Cuthbert’s were all below the national average. Just 42 per cent of Sutton Academy pupils achieved at least five A*-C grades including English and maths, 43 per cent at St Augustine of Canterbury and 46 per cent at St Cuthbert’s.
A council spokesman said: “The 2012-13 academic year saw 86.9 per cent of St Helens students achieve five or more GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades A* to C - an increase on the previous year (85.5 per cent).
“There was also a slight increase in the number of local students achieving five or more GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades A* to C including GCSE English and maths – up from 55.1 per cent to 55.5 per cent.
“We realise there is still plenty of work to do when it comes to helping our young people fulfil their potential, but are pleased to see things are heading in the right direction.’’
At A-Level, Carmel College and Rainhill High were among the best not just in St Helens but across the country.
Carmel College was named the top performing A-Level provider in St Helens and the top performing college in Merseyside and Cheshire in terms of academic progress.
The A-Level Performance System (ALPS) value added scores were also released which placed Carmel in the top two per cent of schools and colleges nationally.
Principal Rob Peacock said: “We are extremely proud that we have topped the league tables in the local area yet again and our position nationally is a fantastic achievement.’’
Rainhill High’s Sixth Form was ranked 31st in the country.
At Rainhill, this covers students performances in the likes of health and social care, ICT, applied science, photography, applied business, media studies, music technology, dance and sport.
Headteacher John Pout said: “The Sixth Form Centre at Rainhill is performing fantastically and to be ranked as one of the best in the country is excellent. These outstanding results set up our students up for a great future at university, or an apprenticeship.’’