Sandwell pupils are continuing their rise in the Government's education league tables after the latest figures show they have achieved the borough's best ever results.
Sandwell has shot up 10 places in the league table to 128th out of 151 local authorities and is the only Black Country authority to show an improvement on last year.
Cabinet member for children and families Councillor Bob Badham said: This just reflects the massive work that had gone into improving education in Sandwell.
"Ten years ago the department was in special measures. Now we are shooting up the league table and are above the national average results. This sort of achievement would have been unthinkable 10 years ago."
Councillor Badham added: "There has been a tremedous amount of work carried out by the School Improvement Team, the schools and the pupils.
"I am determined that we give our youngsters the best possible start in life. These figures back up what I have always said that education is very much on the up in Sandwell.
"There has been improvements year-on-year and as good as these results are we must strive to do even better next year.
"We have shown that with the right leadership and direction we can get up the league table and the aim has got to rise again next year. It should be remembered that we have achieved this against a backdrop that all authorities are under pressure to improve.
"So a jump like this is really fantastic," he added.
The league tables published today (Thursday 24 January) show the percentage of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs at grade C or above has continued to rise and at 86 per cent is now three percentage points above the national average of 83 per cent.
Over five years performance in this measure has increased by 29 percentage points compared to an improvement of 19 percentage points nationally.
When English and maths are included in the figures, the gap between the local authority and national figures is continuing to close rapidly.
Sandwell's figure is 54 per cent, up four percentage points on last year - nationally there has been little improvement. Over the last five years performance in Sandwell has improved at twice the national rate on this key measure, with Sandwell schools improving performance by a massive 22 percentage points.
The progress that pupils in Sandwell make in maths between the age of 11 and taking their GCSEs has also improved dramatically since last year with a an improvement of nine percentage points.