GIRLS in Bury outperformed the boys in the benchmark pass rate in GCSE exams, including English and maths.

Only five of the 17 high schools throughout the borough saw their 2012 results rise, new Government figures revealed yesterday.

But despite this, the percentage of Bury pupils achieving five plus A* to C passes or equivalents, including A* to C in both English and maths, actually increased.

The secondary school performance tables, published by the Department for Children Schools and Families, revealed that the average figure for Bury’s schools rose slightly from 62.8 per cent in 2011 to 63 per cent last year. This was well above the national average of 59.4 per cent.

Compared with the same results for the previous year, the percentage rose at five Bury schools, dipped at 11 schools and remained the same at one.

The schools which achieved a higher percentage were Castlebrook, Derby, Parrenthorn, Prestwich Arts College and St Monica’s, Prestwich.

Prestwich Arts College drastically improved its results, the percentage rising from 38 per cent to 56 per cent.

Bury Grammar School (Girls) retained its ranking as number one in the borough.

The school scored 98 per cent, the same as the previous year, while the boys school saw its percentage drop from 93 per cent to 88 per cent while still emerging in second place in the rankings.

Overall, the top five ranking schools were Bury Grammar School (Girls), Bury Grammar School (Boys), St Monica’s RC High School, Parrenthorn High School and Woodhey High School.

The Government figures also showed that in Bury, the percentage of girls achieving five plus A* to C or equivalents, including A* to C in both English and maths, was 68.1 per cent, compared to 58 per cent for boys.