ILKLEY Grammar School is the joint best performing secondary school in the Bradford district, new figures reveal.

Finalised GCSE results tables released by the Department for Education on Thursday rank the schools based on the percentage of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs at grade A* - C in their 2015 exams.

The results place Bradford Girl's Grammar School first and Ilkley Grammar School second, as Ilkley Grammar had slightly lower points score per pupil, however both saw 76 per cent of pupils achieving these good grades.

The results place Ilkley Grammar School more than 20 per cent higher than the national average and top amongst neighbouring Leeds schools in the locality.

Carly Purnell, deputy headteacher at Ilkley Grammar was delighted with the headline result, but also thrilled by some of the detail behind the measure. "What is particularly pleasing is the amount of progress which students make from their Key Stage 2 results during their first five years at IGS," she said. "Our high position in the Performance Tables recognises the value which is added to students’ achievement in English, mathematics and a wide range of subjects across the curriculum. It is testimony to the commitment and hard work of both staff and students, as well as the continued support of parents/carers and reflects the importance the school places on all students achieving their personal best regardless of their ability."

In the Leeds district, St Marys, Menston, saw 70 per cent of GCSE students achieve A* to C graded, placing the school ninth in the Leeds district.

Prince Henry's Grammar School in Otley, was placed third in the Leeds district, with 75 per cent of pupil achieving five or more A* to C grades.

Woodhouse Grove School in Apperley Bridge was placed 16th in the district, with 63 per cent achieving five or more GCSEs A* to C. Horsforth School saw 73 per cent of students achieve five or more A* to C, placing it fifth.

Guiseley School was 14th, with 64 per cent achieving five or more A* to C grades at GCSE and Benton Park in Rawdon, was 12th with 68 per cent achieving A* to C in five or more GCSEs.

Darren Beardsley, headteacher of St Mary's, Menston said: “Staff and Students at St. Mary’s Menston were delighted with the performance of last year’s examination results. In a period of national change and turbulence in the examination system, students of all abilities again achieved their aspirational targets, with some absolutely outstanding individual results. The outcomes reflected the excellent partnership that exists between staff, students and parents, who should all take great satisfaction and pride from these achievements.”

Mrs Sue Woodroofe, incoming principal of The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), said: “For many leading independent schools, zero in the league tables can nevertheless mean excellent examination performance. While performance tables have merit, they only tell part of the story and can be misleading as a comparison. They exclude IGCSE results, thus do not accurately reflect the academic outcomes for schools choosing this well-established, rigorous qualification.”

The new headteacher of Woodhouse Grove School in Apperley Bridge Mr James Lockwood, said: “Unlike many heads, I do not have a fundamental objection to the publication of academic league tables in national and regional newspapers. Parents need to examine a whole range of criteria before making the right decision over where to send their son or daughter to school.

"However, if these tables are to provide useful information to parents then the information they contain must be a true reflection of what is actually happening in the schools. Woodhouse Grove’s results do not reflect the quality of results our pupils achieve due to the fact that the Government statistics no longer count IGCSEs in English and science. The Grove’s published statistics suggest that only 63 per cent of our pupils achieve 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE (including maths and English) when in fact the actual figure is nearer 80 per cent.

"Academic standards at Woodhouse Grove are high and our pupils achieve excellent results. We are very proud of the fact that last year 7% of our Year 13 cohort gained Oxbridge places and the overall number of A*/A grades realised by our pupils at GCSE was the highest ever. The statistical tables provided by the Department of Education mask what is behind the data and I feel for the pupils whose achievements are under-represented."

A spokesperson for Horsforth School said: "This performance continues the excellent track record of academic success of Horsforth students and consolidates the school's position as one of the top non-selective schools in the region."

Guiseley School headteacher, Mr Paul Morrissey said: “We are pleased to see the tables reflecting the hard work of the students, parents and staff. The governing body were particularly encouraged to see the table recognising that these results were achieved by students in what is a very traditional and challenging curriculum.”

Janet Sheriff, headteacher of Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley said: "Staff and governors at Prince Henry's are thrilled with how well the school has fared in the league tables. It is great to see our ranking improve over recent years. Praise goes to our fantastic students, who work hard and are committed to their learning, and also to our supportive parents. The dedication from our highly skilled teaching and associate staff, who ensure high quality learning experiences day in and day out, is key to our success.
"Prince Henry's is one of the top three performing schools across the city in terms of 5A*-C including English and maths and is very highly ranked across the nation. The league tables also show that we have excellent sixth form results. We are the highest performing school across the city, and amongst the best in the country, in terms of the English Baccalaureate, which measures the proportion of students achieving success in a broad and balanced range of academic subjects. The league tables also reflect how well students at Prince Henry's progress from their starting points."