NORTH Yorkshire has been ranked first in the region - and is within the top 15 per cent of local authorities nationally - for the GCSE results at its schools.

The provisional figures, published yesterday by the Department for Education, were described as an "outstanding set of results for North Yorkshire” by Cllr Patrick Mulligan, executive member for schools at North Yorkshire County Council.

“They are testament to the hard work and commitment of our young people and their teachers,” he said.

“This success reflects the very strong teaching in North Yorkshire schools, the partnership between schools, the county council, teaching school alliances and the diocese as well as the strong partnership with parents and families.

“These results reflect North Yorkshire’s determination that all students can meet their full potential and that our schools continue to offer excellence and a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum.”

A council spokeswoman said that under new gradings for English language and literature and in Maths, where 9 is equivalent to A* and above and 1 is the lowest score, nearly 50 per cent of North Yorkshire’s pupils gained a strong 9-5 pass.

She said this compared to 40 per cent for Yorkshire and the Humber and 42 per cent nationally.

“Over 70 per cent of the county’s students attained a standard 9-4 pass in English and Maths compared to 61 per cent in Yorkshire and the Humber and 63.5 per cent nationally,” she added.