​Eight secondary schools in the North East have been named in the top 500 in the UK. 

The state schools, based in County Durham, Tyneside and Darlington have been named among the best in the country in the Sunday Times' latest top 500 for 2024.

The Parent Power table has ranked schools on their average performance using results from summer 2023.

Among the names on the list, Durham Johnston Comprehensive School took the region's top list, while Carmel College, Darlington, came in sixth and Framwellgate School Durham in seventh.

Elsewhere in the list, there's room for Gosforth Academy, Whitley Bay High School, and Ponteland High School.

The list is purely for the North East, with The Times ranking other schools in different regions of the UK in their category. 

The rankings are just for state schools, with a separate list for independent schools.

The Sunday Times said its latest data showed that across the country combined reading, writing and maths levels are still lower than they were before Covid.

Recommended reading: 

Don't miss out on the latest news and stories. Subscribe to The Northern Echo for just £5 for 5 months

In the most recent tests last May, 59 per cent of pupils reached the expected level in English, grammar and maths combined, compared with 65 per cent in 2019.

Since Covid, teachers have had to tackle falling attendance, a mental health crisis, overweight and screen-addicted children, the Times has reported.

One of the biggest challenges has been persuading children to attend.

About 1.8 million children are regularly missing school, which means they’re absent for at least one afternoon or morning a week, the newspaper said.

Here are the North East eight and their ranking in the UK:

  1. Durham Johnston Comprehensive School (177=)
  2. Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham (239)
  3. St Mary’s Catholic School, Newcastle upon Tyne (249)
  4. Ponteland High School (281)
  5. Gosforth Academy (290)
  6. Carmel College, Darlington (321=)
  7. Framwellgate School Durham (339=)
  8. Whitley Bay High School (352)