THE bid to set up a Sixth Form College at St Christopher's High School was given a huge boost yesterday (Thurs) when the school went back to the top of the local "league table''.
An extra 10 per cent of its pupils got five or more GCSE passes at A* to C grades, while the number of Rhyddings pupils getting similar passes fell by 14 per cent on the previous year.
The two schools remain the only high schools in the borough performing about the county and national average.
The figures saw St Christopher's overtake Rhyddings which came top last year - to the delight of headteacher Alasdair Coates.
He said: "We have been recognised as one of the most improved schools in the country by the Department of Education.
"This is the perfect springboard from which we can launch our Sixth Form College.
"Our pupils are performing very highly in both academic and vocational subjects so it is important for them to have a place to study in Hyndburn."
- PUPILS and parents from Moorhead High School were also celebrating after a massive improvement in their exam results.
The figures show that, compared with last year, twice as many school-leavers got at least five top-end GCSEs grades.
Moorhead was among three Hyndburn high schools to improve on their 2004 results.
Headteacher Andrew Bateman said he was delighted with the improvement.
"I would like to congratulate the students who have worked so hard and the staff who have assisted them," he said.
"This really quantifies the progress we have made in the last two or so years and it is tremendous for the school to celebrate this achievement."
Mr Bateman said his teachers had worked hard in the last year to introduce a culture of success among pupils.
"We started to reward success wherever possible and we offer classes after school, at weekends and in half-term if they want to attend," he said.
"We have also looked at the kind of subjects that we offer to the pupils to make sure they are interested in their learning.
"I was disappointed with last year's figures but the improvement we have made is significant and, though it is unrealistic to double the pass rate next year, we would hope for similar results.
"But year-to-year success completely depends on the potential of your students.
"Hopefully, parents will recognise the good work we are doing and judge us by it."
Hollins was the other school showing a marked improvement on last year, a rise of 13 per cent, while there were small declines at Mount Carmel and Norden in Rishton.