A SCHOOL is celebrating today after improving its standing in the latest league tables.
Hard-working pupils at Fartown High won praise after the figures were released.
Their school is named the most improved in Huddersfield in "value added" tables for pupils aged from 14 to 16.
Achievements of the youngsters were branded "magnificent".
But some campaigners today questioned the merits of value added tables.
However, Fartown High head Warwick Firman said the value added scores ought to be taken much more seriously.
"It gives a real measure of the journey that children make at school," he said.
"We get knocked for all sorts of reasons, so it is nice to have it confirmed that we work incredibly hard to help our children improve." he added.
"And it gives a clear message to children that when they are here they make very good progress."
The second year of the "value added" league table showed that non-selective secondaries did most to help pupils do better in GCSE exams in 2003.
Another school which did well in the value added table was Holmfirth High.
It also came top of the table of Kirklees comprehensive schools in terms of the percentage of pupils gaining five A* to C grades at GCSE vocational equivalent.
Its score of 71% was a nine- point rise on 2002, when 62% of pupils made the grade.
Head Dr Andy Williams said: "Last year's GCSE results were the best we have ever had.
"They are the result of a lot of hard work from everybody concerned - particularly as we had major building work going on, which caused a lot of disruption.
"The children are, on average, doing 10% better than one might expect."
Local grammar schools and sixth-form colleges took the top spots in both the A-level and GCSE tables.
At A-level, Greenhead College was first, followed by Heckmondwike Grammar School and Batley Grammar.
At GCSE level Heckmondwike achieved a 100% success rate (5 A* to C), followed by Huddersfield Grammar School with 96% and Batley Grammar on 94%
Nationally, GCSE results at schools in England's toughest areas improved twice as much as the national average.
Schools minister David Miliband praised schools facing "challenging circumstances" - education jargon for those in some of the poorest parts of the country - for their achievements.
They saw their proportion of pupils achieving at least five A* to C grades at GCSE rise from 26.5% to 29.3%.
At Fartown, 36% of pupils gained five A* to C grades at GCSE.
Mr Miliband said the number of schools where fewer than 20% of students got five Cs and above at GCSE had dropped two-thirds, from 361 to 114, since Labour came to power.
But that meant the Government was unlikely to meet a pledge made by former Education Secretary David Blunkett, that all schools would ensure at least a fifth of GCSE students got five Cs or better by 2004.
At A-level, candidates averaged a points score of 258.6 last year, up from 254.5 in 2002.
That was equivalent to better than three Cs apiece under the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service tariff, which says an A is worth 120 points.
Other tables showed truancy is still a problem at Fartown High.
Once again it came top of the Kirklees truancy league table, with 7.7% of half-days missed due to unauthorised absence. Its nearest rivals in Kirklees are Honley High and Batley High, with 2.3%
Fartown head Mr Firmin said they tried "to make school interesting and exciting, but it is a stubborn figure and unchanged for a number of years".