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SCHOOLS in Bolton are celebrating today after achieving record GCSE results.

The town’s top state school gained the best grades in its history while others made dramatic improvements, Government figures show.

The latest league tables have been welcomed by headteachers and education chiefs.

Margaret Asquith, Bolton Council’s director of children’s services, said: “These results clearly show Bolton is continuing to offer its young people better opportunities.

“The number of pupils gaining five or more A* to C grades, including maths and English, has risen — but it is still slightly below the national average and so we will be making particular efforts to improve this.”

The breakdown of last summer’s GCSE results, released by the Department for Children, Schools and Families today, shows 46.2 per cent of pupils in Bolton achieved the benchmark of five or more A* to C grades, including maths and English, compared to 45 per cent in 2008. The national average is 49.8 per cent.

Canon Slade School, in Bradshaw, maintained its position as the town’s number one state school, with 87 per cent of pupils achieving the benchmark standard.

The four per cent rise from the previous year means the school has gained its best GCSE results on record.

Headteacher Philip Williamson said: “It is testament to the diligence of our students and to the skill and dedication of my colleagues.”

The biggest improvement came from Harper Green School, Farnworth, which shot up from 20th to 12th place in the town’s GCSE tables.

Four out of 10 pupils gained five or more A* to C grades, including maths and English, a leap from just one in four students the previous year.

Assistant headteacher Sara Cain said: “We spent a lot of time working towards these results. We can’t rest on our laurels — it is something we want to build on.”

The three all-Muslim schools in Bolton excelled, with each figuring in the town’s top five.

Bolton Muslim Girls’ School came third for the second year running, with eight out of 10 pupils gaining five A* to C grades, including maths and English.

Bolton School Girls’ Division topped the table, with 97 per cent of all pupils achieving the benchmark standard.

Headteacher Gill Richards said she was delighted with the results.

GREAT RESULTS: Celebrating St Joseph’s RC High School and Sports College’s best GCSE results in its history are, from left, back row: Simon Stone, Clara Espinosa and head boy Nathan Jowett; middle row: Anna McKay, head girl Lucy Caren and Saraj Parmar; front row: Tom Richardson, deputy head Maurice Graham and Suzanne Taylor