HANLEY Castle High School near Malvern and John Masefield High School, Ledbury, have performed better than average in the school performance tables, published this week.

In the measure of a good set of GCSEs - five in total including English and maths - Hanley Castle scored 75 per cent and John Masefield 71 per cent.

This compares favourably with the national average of 66.1 per cent.

The same figure for the Chase and Dyson Perrins, both in Malvern, were 67 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.

Lindsey Cooke, head of Hanley Castle, said: "We're absolutely delighted. It's been a challenging year for all schools with the introduction of the new GCSEs.

"We're delighted to be one of the top schools in Worcestershire for value added. Our children have worked really hard for this result and we're delighted."

Andy Evans, John Masefield head, said: "Students in Year 11 last year performed well.

"We were particularly pleased that the percentage of students achieving the E-Bacc (strong passes at GCSE in each of English, maths, two sciences and languages and either history or geography) at 40 per cent was more than double the national average and the best in Herefordshire.

"We were also well above national averages for students achieving Grade 5 or higher for the new GCSEs in English and maths, and achieved the second highest score in the county.

"This high achievement reflected hard work and a positive attitude from our students, high quality teaching and dedicated support for individual students."

Newent Community School achieved 58 per cent.

The school's vice principal, Rhys Phillips, said he was pleased with progress and the direction the school was taking, under a new head, and he added: "We look forward to improvements on our results next year, as well."

Queen Elizabeth High School in Bromyard recorded a figure of 47 per cent, but headteacher Martin Farmer said he understood this was to be upgraded to 50 per cent, following a review.

Mr Farmer added: "We are going in the right direction and did a good job with the students we had, and we have done better than expected. We are really happy.

"The government has recognised positive progress at our school for the second year in a row."