A NORTH-EAST sixth form college has been named as one of the top 20 in the country.

The Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, in Darlington, is at number 18 in national league table which is published by The Sunday Times this weekend.

In the guide, state-run sixth form colleges are ranked on the average number of Level 3 points per student gained in A-level and equivalent examinations over the three years from 2009 to 2011.

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The Darlington sixth form college racked up a total of 2,584 Level 3 points over the three years surveyed by The Sunday Times.

The former grammar school, now generally known as the Q.E, has around 1,800 students enrolled.

The table is topped by Cardinal Newman College in Preston, which scored a total of 3,403.1 points.

In second place is Winstanley College in Wigan, which scored 3,293 points.

Winstanley College was named Sixth Form College of the Year by the newspaper for consistently achieving excellent A-level results.

In August, 39.8 per cent of Winstanley's A-level passes were at A* and A grades, compared with a national average of 26.6 per cent.

All statistics are from The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2012.