Secondary schools have notched up their sixth consecutive year of improved GCSE results, outperforming grades around the country, new league tables have showed.

Some 62.5 per cent of Croydon pupils achieved five A*-C grades in last year's exams, up from 61 per cent in 2011 and well ahead of the national average of 59.4 per cent.

The figures show significant and consistent improvement since 2006, when 42.7 of the borough's pupils made the grade, but still means more than a third of students are failing to the hit top marks that would earn them places on school A-level courses.

The highest-performing schools in last year's exams were Al-Khair School in Addiscombe and Trinity School in Shirley, both of which saw 100 per cent of pupils achieve five A*-C grades.

Harris City Academy Crystal Palace was the highest-achieving state-funded school, with 99 per cent of pupils celebrating A*-C grades.

Andrew Barr, the school's acting principal, said: "Our results have improved steadily every year since opening and we were delighted last summer when our students achieved 99 per cent five GCSE's including English and Maths.

"We constantly talk to our students about achieving their personal best and our excellent staff make sure they are supported to do so every step of the way."

Aisha Chaudhry, headteacher at Al-Khair School, said: "I am delighted that the hard work of our Year 11 pupils and their teachers has been rewarded with such an outstanding set of GCSE results. 

"At Al-Khair School we continually strive to stretch all of our pupils. We are confident that our pupils will leave our school with a competitive advantage."

Westwood Girls' College fared worst, dropping from 48 per cent of pupils with top grades to just 35 per cent.
Coun Tim Pollard, Croydon Council's cabinet member for schools, said: "“We’re pleased that our efforts have seen sustained year-on-year improvements for GCSE results in Croydon.

"Just five years ago we were still below the national average, but today we are well above that, and our rate of improvement is also encouraging."