PUPILS have been hailed by education chiefs after new figures reveal that school results continue to improve year-on-year.
In Hartlepool, town schools recorded an average of 49.3 per cent of children achieving at least five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, for the 2009-10 academic year.
The figure is below the national average of 53.1 per cent, but demonstrates an increase of more than 10 per cent when compared to the results for 2007-08.
Meanwhile, Durham County Council recorded an average of 55.6 per cent and Stockton Borough Council 52.8 per cent.
Two Hartlepool schools, High Tunstall College of Science and Manor College of Technology, recorded higher than average results with 57 per cent and 56 per cent of students respectively securing top marks.
Mark Tilling, headteacher at High Tunstall College of Science, said: "It makes me extremely proud to be the headteacher of a successful college.
"The examination results the students achieved are a testament to their hard work and the support given to them by their parents and carers and the staff at the college. Our aim is to continually improve the educational outcomes for every student.
"We will continue to work with parents and carers to ensure that we will be reporting even better GCSE results for all at High Tunstall College of Science in August 2011."
Leanne Robson, director of raising achievements at Manor College of Technology, said: "These excellent results are down to hard work from the students, staff and support of parents.
"It has been a real team effort from everybody and it is a great feeling to be above the national average."
Hartlepool councillor Cath Hill, cabinet member for children's services, said: "I am delighted that we are continuing to see a year-on-year improvement in students' GCSE results at Key Stage 4 and I would like to congratulate all of our schools for their contribution to this achievement.
"I am also very pleased all three of the college's delivering A-levels at Key Stage 5 – English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Hartlepool College of Further Education – reported improved pass rates in 2009-10. Again, I would like to congratulate them on their efforts.
"We are determined to give our young people the best possible start in life to help them achieve their full potential, and these results bode well for the future.
"We will, however, never become complacent and, indeed, our schools and colleges are already working very hard to sustain and improve the excellent progress that has been made."
Dave Ford, head of achievement services with Durham County Council, said: "We are delighted that once again our GCSE results have risen more quickly than the national average and for the benchmark measure of five A* to C grades, including English and maths, we have exceeded the national figure."
Councillor Claire Vasey, lead member for children and young people, said: "These results are testament to the hard work of pupils, the dedication of staff in our schools and the strong partnership between schools and the local authority."