SOUTH Lakeland schools have ranked among the best in the county in newly-published league tables.

Schools were ranked based on the number of pupils staying in education or entering employment after Year 11, how many scored 5 or above in maths and English GCSE, how well pupils performed in up to eight qualifications, and the average score in the English Baccalaureate.

This provided a Progress 8 score - how much progress pupils made between the end of key stage 2 and the end of key stage 4 compared to pupils across England who got similar results at the end of key stage 2.

Cartmel Priory School was ranked the second best-performing school in Cumbria with a score just 0.01 per cent behind Cockermouth School in first place.

The figures refer to secondary pupils who finished school in 2019.

Cumbria’s average score for state-funded schools is -0.16

Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale came third in the list.

Ulverston Victoria High School was ranked sixth in Cumbria out of 48 schools followed by Coniston’s John Ruskin School in seventh place.

Kirkbie Kendal School came in ninth.

Dowdales School in Dalton was ranked 14th and The Lakes School came 17th

Cartmel Priory headteacher Sarah Beestone said: “We are extremely proud of this achievement which is down to the commitment of all staff, the support of parents and the hard work and high aspiration of our students.

“We remain dedicated to achieving the best outcomes possible for the children of the Cartmel Peninsula.”

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said paid tribute to highest-ranked schools, saying: “I want to say a massive congratulations to Cartmel Priory CofE School and Queen Elizabeth School for being ranked as above the national average when it comes to performance for key stage 4 pupils.

“However successes of schools should not be solely put down to league table positions, and so I want to also say a big thank you to the head teachers, teachers and teaching assistants of all schools across our area who work so hard at giving our young people the best possible start in life.”