A TOP performing North-East college has won even more praise after its exam results secured its position as one of the best schools in the country.

Minister of State for Schools David Laws has written to Darlington’s Carmel College for the second time in a matter of months congratulating staff and students on their performance.

In a letter to principal and chief executive officer of the Carmel Education Trust Maura Regan, he said: “Your school is clearly equipping its pupils for success in both further study and future employment. The results are a shining testament to the hard work and success of your staff, pupils and governors.”

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The tribute is the latest in a string of accolades received by Carmel College as it cements its reputation as one of the most dynamic establishments in the country.

Last year the college was rated top according to the similar schools measure in the School Performance Tables.

It then received an across-the-board outstanding rating by Ofsted inspectors who said they would be happy sending their own children to the school.

Now the GCSE results league tables sees them vying for the top position in the region and in the leading cohort in the country.

• Students recorded a pass rate of 90.4 per cent in the benchmark five GCSEs grade A*-C including maths and English, securing 8th place in the country from 4,000 schools.

• The capped scoring, which takes the top eight GCSE marks including English and maths, was 1006.9, the best in the region and among the top one per cent in the country.

• The value added score – the difference the college makes to students from primary school to GCSE results – which measured 1034, is one of the best in the region.

• These results make Carmel College the best performing Catholic school in the region.

• It also has the highest added value score in the region for English and maths.