ONE Swindon school is head-and-shoulders above the rest when it comes to pupil progress between SATs and GCSEs.

Swindon Academy achieved the highest Progress 8 score in Swindon and this result of 0.51 is well above average when compared to other secondary schools across England.

The Progress 8 score measures progress students make between the ends of Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4.

A score above zero means pupils made more progress, on average, than pupils across England who got similar results at the end of KS2.

Ruth Robinson, executive principal of Swindon Academy, said: “We are so thrilled.

“This score puts us in the top 20 per cent of schools in the UK for the third year in a row.

“The success is down to the hard work of the pupils, teachers and parents.

“I’ve been here since 2012 and when I arrived, I promised the parents that we would make them proud of Penhill and Pinehurst and transform their children’s education.

“This school has the highest percentage of pupils in Swindon (58 per cent) who are eligible for free school meals.

“It’s often said that pupils from disadvantaged areas don’t do well but we are bucking that trend.”

Lydiard Park Academy and the Ridgeway School and Sixth Form College achieved above average in their Progress 8 scores of 0.24 and 0.22, respectively.

St Joseph’s Catholic College, Nova Hreod Academy and Lawn Manor Academy scored Progress 8 results which were in line with the national average (0.06, -0.1, -0.13), though Commonweal School, Dorcan Academy and Kingsdown School were just below the average (-0.18, -0.29 -0.47).

The scores were based on this year’s GCSEs results.

Special education facilities Crowdys Hill School and St Luke's School were well-below average with respective Progress 8 scores of -1.81 and -2.84.

Another key area of the results is the percentage of pupils per school who got a Grade 5 or above in English and maths GCSEs.

The average for England is 43 per cent for state-funded schools and 39.9 per cent for all schools.

Ridgeway School was top of the charts in this respect, with 53 per cent attainment, closely followed by Nova Hreod's 52 per cent and Swindon Academy's 49 per cent.

Commonweal School and Lydiard Park Academy hovered around the average amount with 41 and 40 per cent, respectively.

At St Joseph's Catholic College, 38 per cent of pupils achieved Grade 5 or higher in the two GCSE subjects, then Dorcan Academy and Kingsdown School were equally below-average with 34 per cent of pupils attaining the same grades.

Only 32 per cent of pupils at Lawn Manor Academy achieved the new equivalent of a high C or low B, which is also known as a 'strong pass'.

Coun Mary Martin, Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for education, said: “There’s still a way to go, of course, but this is positive movement in the right direction.

“In terms of Maths and English grades, there have been considerable improvements in a number of schools - NovaHreod , Swindon Academy, Lawn Manor, Dorcan, Abbey Park, and Warneford.

“Swindon Challenge has made a big impact. The focus on maths led to maths progress being in line with the national average, and led to English progress improving.

“Overall Progress 8 measures have improved from -0.26 to -0.14, which moved us from the fourth quartile to the third, so clearly some schools have improved and have very positive scores."