MOST South Lakeland secondary schools performed above the national average in 2013, new figures reveal.

The Department for Education has published the league tables for GCSEs and A-Level equivalents for schools and colleges.

The Government had set a minimum for secondary schools to have at least 40 per cent of students achieving five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and Maths.

The national average was 59.2 per cent. Cumbria’s average was 56.5 per cent, up 0.4 per cent on last year.

Stephen Wilkinson, chairman of the South Lakes Federation of Schools, said: “League tables tell part of the story. However, due to changes to the manner in which data is presented, in these tables, comparisons over time can be difficult.

“They also do not reflect the added value students in the federation enjoy through the wide range of opportunities available to them.

“One thing is for sure – schools in the South Lakes Federation are offering a standard of education that would be the envy of most parts of the country.”

Queen Elizabeth School, in Kirkby Lonsdale, saw 74 per cent of its students gain five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and Maths.

At Dallam School, Miln-thorpe, that figure was 69 per cent and at Settlebeck School, Sedbergh, it was 65 per cent.

At Kirkbie Kendal, Lakes School, Troutbeck Bridge, and Ulverston Victoria High School it stood at 62 per cent.

Elsewhere, 61 per cent of Dalton’s Dowdales School students achieved that stan-dard.

Falling just below the national average was Queen Katherine School, Kendal, at 59 per cent, while Cartmel Priory School achieved 54 per cent and Coniston’s John Ruskin, 52 per cent.

Mr Wilkinson said: “School leaders and governors now have a wealth of information about their school’s performance which is used by head teachers to plan school improvement.

“In the South Lakes this is done collaboratively be-tween schools and involves joint working. This allows us to share best practice.”

Elsewhere, Windermere School was one of the top performing schools in the county with 89 per cent achieving five passes including Maths and English.

Deputy head Stewart King said the result was ‘testimony to the students’ commitment’.

In Eden, 45 per cent of students received five GCSEs at A* to C, including Maths and English, at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School and Appleby Grammar School.

That figure was 76 per cent at Giggleswick School and 60 per cent at Settle College, and at Carnforth High School the figure was 49 per cent.