PUPILS at The Ridgeway School have come out top of the class with more pupils achieving at least five A* to C grades than anywhere else in the town.

Results released by the Department for Education today show that 74 per cent of students at the school in Wroughton achieved at least five A* to C grades at GCSE or equivalent, including in English and maths, in the summer.

On average, 52.7 per cent of pupils across Swindon achieved the same results, which was below the national average of 59.4 per cent.

Steve Colledge, headteacher of The Ridgeway School, said: “We are really pleased. It has been our ambition to exceed 70 per cent so it was a fantastic year.

“The staff have worked really hard, students responded and parents have been very supportive – together that has brought the results.

“We hope now we have broken the 70 per cent barrier that will be the norm. Our aspiration is to get to the 80 per cent mark now.

“I want to congratulate the students and hope those achievements give them the life chance they deserve.”

Also performing above the national average are Commonweal School in Old Town at 60 per cent and Isambard Community School at 65 per cent. Following closely behind are Royal Wootton Bassett Academy at 58 per cent, Churchfields Academy at 56 per cent and Lydiard Park Academy at 55 per cent.

Keith Defter, headteacher of Commonweal School, said: “We are reasonably pleased with the results. All the evidence is that the students made very good progress. The English and maths results were well above the national average.

“In the two years prior to the 2012 results we were at 64 and 65 per cent so it looks like a bit of a drop. We had more boys than girls last year and the performance of boys nationally is significantly lower than girls.

“Just because there is a headline drop doesn’t mean we were displeased though. We know what we need to work on.”

A total of 2,259 Swindon students received their results in August. Some 76.8 per cent gained at least five or more GCSEs graded A* to C (up three percentage points), while the number gaining at least five GCSEs or equivalent graded A* to C including English and maths was the same as last year.

Coun David Renard, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I would like to thank our teaching staff for their hard work and congratulate all those who sat their GCSEs last year.

“Swindon has made great strides over the last few years in terms of educational attainment but these results show that other areas also continue to improve and our secondary schools need to deliver further improvements.

“Our young people will be competing in the global market place and they will need good skills in English and maths in particular if they are to achieve their potential.”