HOLY Cross College is bucking the trend for the number of pupils moving on to top universities.

Last month, it was revealed that 10 per cent of the borough’s state-school sixth formers end up at Russell Group universities – 2 per cent less than the national average.

According to the data published by the Department for Education last month, the figure is the same as neighbouring Rochdale, but less than Bolton, which sent 12 per cent of its state-school key stage five pupils to Russell Group universities.

The figures, which relate to students who went on to university in 2016/17, also show that in Manchester, 16 per cent of state-school sixth formers end up at Russell Group universities.

As well as Manchester, five other boroughs in Greater Manchester scored higher than Bury.

These were Stockport with 13 per cent, Wigan and Oldham with 15 per cent and Trafford with 29 per cent.

However, the figures also show that 18 per cent pupils at Holy Cross, in Manchester Road, moved on to the top universities.

Holy Cross principal David Frost said: "While we value a wide range of universities, each with their particular strengths to meet the needs of individual students, we are naturally delighted that so many of our students at Holy Cross are able to succeed in accessing Russell Group institutions.

"This group of universities offers access to some of the most challenging and academically rigorous teaching and research that can significantly affect student's future development and prospects.

"We do however, genuinely value our student's success with other groups, but are particularly proud of the holistic development of students at Holy Cross where they are well prepared for the next phase of their life, whatever that might be; 91 per cent of students find themselves in sustained education or employment and a further six per cent apprenticeships.

"Given the dramatic increase in value added and high grades at Holy Cross College this summer, the latest figures for Russell Group entry are likely to be even stronger when they are confirmed."

The Russell Group is made up of 24 research-intensive universities that are generally considered to be world-class higher education institutions in the country.

The group includes Oxford and Cambridge universities as well as the University of Manchester, University of Liverpool and University of Sheffield.