A BLACKBURN Islamic school has been named best in the country for pupil progress for the second year running.

Provisional data released by the government on the performance of students at the end of key stage four shows Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School (TIGHS) in Blackburn topped the league tables for its Progress 8 score, while Tauheedul Islam Boys' High School (TIBHS) came third.

Progress 8 measures pupils' progress between key stage two and key stage four across eight key subjects and is now the main way the Government ranks schools. A score of zero reflects the national average.

This year was the first time pupils took the tougher GCSE exams with English and maths now graded numerically. A grade five is considered a strong pass.

The overall performance tables show TIGHS had a 'well above average' progress 8 score of 1.82 with 81 per cent of students achieving a grade five or above in English and maths GCSEs.

TIBHS score was also well above average at 1.57 with 76 per cent achieving a grade five or above in English and maths GCSEs.

Mufti Hamid Patel, chief executive of Tauheedul Education Trust, said: "As exams became much tougher this year, the Government figures show that we are continuing to achieve amazing results with our students, regardless of their prior ability and background."

Mubaaruck Ibrahim, TIBHS Principal, said: "This is only TIBHS’ second cohort of pupils to sit GCSE examinations. To achieve such grades in a year when tougher exams have been introduced is testament to their hard work, and the support of their parents and TIBHS staff."

Witton Park Academy and Pleckgate High School in Blackburn also recorded above average Progress 8 scores.

Dean Logan, headteacher at Witton Park, said: "Maintaining this success over recent years is excellent reward for staff and trustees, it provides huge amounts of confidence for parents, which is shown in the high demand for places at our school."

Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, Darwen Vale High School and Darwen Aldridge Enterprise studio all recorded below average Progress 8 scores.

Brendan Loughran, executive principal DACA and Darwen Vale said the Progress 8 was just one indicator of schools' performance.

He said DACA was above the national average for good GCSE passes ?at both English and maths, while Darwen Vale exceeded it in English and is working hard to match that success in maths.

Pleckgate headteacher, Mark Cocker said: "The Progress 8 measure represents a substantial improvement for Pleckgate High School and places us in the top 18 per cent of schools nationally.

"The percentage of students achieving the new more challenging benchmark of 5+ in English and Maths also places us third in the authority with an impressive 28 students achieving Grade 9’s across English and Maths.

"We are extremely proud of all our students and our fantastic and dedicated staff."

Across East Lancashire Clitheroe Royal Grammar School topped the league table with an above average Progress 8 score of 0.41, while 99 per cent of pupils achieved a grade five or above in English and maths.

Judith Child, headteacher at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, said: "We were delighted with the outstanding results gained by our students in their GCSE examinations this summer which are reflected in the Progress 8 figures.

"This shows that our students not only achieve well at GCSE, but make excellent progress during their time at our school.

"We are incredibly proud of our students and staff.

"We have been told this year that the GCSE examination system had been designed to be tougher.

"Our students rose to the challenge and truly excelled, supported by our exceptional staff and supportive parents / carers."

Pendle Vale College in Nelson, Bowland High School in Grindleton, St Augustine's RC High School in Billington, Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School and Sir John Thursby Community School in Burnley all recorded above average scores.

Michael Wright, headteacher at St Augustine's, said: "We are delighted with the progress that our pupils made last year and are the top Catholic school in Lancashire for Progress 8 in 2017.

"As a comprehensive school our results reflect the progress of pupils of all abilities and we are particularly pleased with our high achievers who scored a progress 8 figure of 0.51 which is 'well above average'."

John Tarbox, headteacher at Bowland said: "We are very pleased that once again pupils have made excellent progress at Bowland across a wide range of subjects.

"This group of pupils and their teachers had to contend with some major changes to some GCSE exams and we were reassured that the very high standards of previous years were sustained."

Steve Wilson, headteacher at Pendle Vale, said: "We are delighted that once again the students at Pendle Vale have secured such outstanding outcomes.

"Our progress 8 score of 0.4 puts us in the top five in the County for the second year running and shows that students at Pendle Vale make more progress than others by a significant account."

Fearns Community Sports College in Stacksteads recorded a well below average progress score of -1.26 with just six per cent of pupils achieving a grade five or above in GCSE English and maths.

As an authority Blackburn with Darwen recorded an above average progress 8 score of 0.12 while Lancashire recorded a below average score of -0.13.