GCSE results rose at more than half of Bolton’s schools, with the borough continuing to beat the average pass rate, official figures out today show.

The performance of every school in last summer’s GCSE exams has been released by the Department for Education in its annual “league tables”.

And Bolton’s schools showed a massive improvement on the previous year, when only six schools saw an increase in the numbers of children gaining five or more good GCSEs including English and maths.

But while the average pass rate nationally rose slightly, it dipped in Bolton.

Overall 56.8 per cent of young people left with the benchmark five or more subjects graded at A* to C including English and maths, compared to 53.8 per cent nationally.

The average local pass rate was down slightly by 0.5 per cent, whereas the national average went up by 0.4 per cent.

Bolton Council’s cabinet member for education, schools, safeguarding and looked after children, Cllr Ann Cunliffe, said: “These official results once again mark the fantastic achievements of our GCSE students. I’d like to congratulate our schools, staff, pupils and parents for ensuring Bolton is performing better than the national and North West average, with 56.8 per cent of students achieving five or more top GCSE Grades, including English and Maths.

"Exam time can be a difficult period for all concerned and these results are a culmination of several years of hard work, so well done to everyone.”

This year it was girls who gave a first class performance — with Bolton School girls’ division being number one out of all the schools in the borough, and Bolton Muslim Girls School being top of the state sector.

Bolton School girls posted a perfect 100 per cent of pupils achieving the standard.

Headmistress Sue Hincks said: "The stimulating curriculum which our girls follow is designed to cultivate their intellectual curiosity and love of learning, and we are delighted that their achievements have been recognised in this way.

"In fact, the percentage of pupils achieving at least eight A*-C GCSE grades was also 100 per cent and we set a new record for recent years for the highest percentage (74 per cent) of girls attaining at least 11 A*-C GCSE grades.

"The number of top grades was also up, contrary to the national picture: 93 per cent of our girls achieved at least eight A*-B grades and almost seven out of every 10 papers were graded at A* or A.”

Bolton Muslim Girls School saw its results rise from 76 per cent to 83 per cent last summer — ahead of other state schools

Head of Bolton Muslim Girls School, Idrish Patel said: “We are very proud of our young people, the school and the whole of the Bolton community, which works together fellow headteachers, cluster heads, the local authority and stakeholders.”

He added: “GCSEs are a starting point for the career pathway pupils have set their eyes on, and important milestone.”

Deputy head at Bolton Muslim Girls School Annette Patterson added: “We are thrilled for the girls who have worked tremendously hard and supported by the school staff who are fully committed to their progress.”

And faith schools dominated the top half of the league table.

Bolton Muslim Girls School was followed by St James’s CE School in Farnworth and St Joseph’s RC School in Horwich both which celebrated 77 per cent of pupils gaining the benchmark.

Both schools posted among the biggest increases —with the numbers of children achieving five or more good GCSEs rising by nine per cent at St Joseph’s RC and eight per cent at St James’ CE High School.

Mount St Joseph in Farnworth posted a ten per cent increase.

Tania Lewyckyj, head teacher of St James’ CE High School, said: “We are delighted with our results this year and hope to continue to grow year on year.

“As a National Teaching School we are also very privileged to experience and share the very best in learning and teaching from across Bolton.

“Bolton headteachers are working closely together to ensure that more and more children have excellent educational opportunities in all Bolton schools.

“This, together with our supportive parents, excellent staff and hardworking pupils enables us achieve the best.”

She added: “However, as a headteacher I am concerned that the next few years will be extremely volatile for school leaders and the pupils sitting exams as the issues around the changing boundaries of GCSE/A level grades, the uncertainty of testing at the end of Year six, exam marking irregularities, the raising of the bar at all levels and further political interference — all of this is likely to cause turbulence and confusion.

“ From next year on, publication of results will start to look very different to what they do today."

To find out the results from your child’s school, click here GCSE league tables 2015.pdf