TWO Berkshire schools have been ranked highly in the Sunday Times' Guide for the south east.

Reading School was named as the state secondary school of the year for the region, while St Mary's in Ascot was named as independent secondary school of the year.

Reading School is a selective grammar school, however it was named under the state school category in the Sunday Time list.

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The school takes seventh place in this year's national league table of state secondary schools and continues to achieve well at A-level and GCSEs.

This year, 88.8 per cent of A-levels resulted in A*s, A’s and B’s this summer up, whilst 90.9 per cent of GCSEs received A*-A grades.

The 27th edition of Parent Power identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their recent examination results.

As well as assessment of all academic results on a school-by-school basis, Parent Power enables parents to compare the performance of a given school with other schools in the same town, local authority or nationally. There are also live links to school websites and schools’ most recent inspection reports.

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The rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the percentage of examination entries gaining A* to B grades at A-level this summer (which is given double weighting) and the percentage of entries returning A* and A grades, and those graded 9, 8 and 7, at GCSE and iGCSE.

They are published several weeks ahead of the official government tables for secondary school performance.

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Dartford Grammar School won The Sunday Times International Baccalaureate School of the Year.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: "It is hard to win one of our School of the Year awards once.

"To do so twice in four years is exceptional, but Dartford Grammar made an unanswerable case this year with IB results that surpassed all previous achievements.

"They ranked the school fourth in the country for state sector sixth-form outcomes with all this achieved in a school committed to social mobility, born of its mixed intake.

"This is no bastion of educational privilege, but one that has achieved its notable success through hard work, inspired teaching and free-thinking.

"It is one of the country’s truly exceptional schools – and one to be treasured."

St Mary's School in Ascot has been named The Sunday Times Southeast Independent Secondary School of the Year.

Jumping from eighth to fifth place in the Southeast, it also secured a place in the top 10 in this year’s national independent school rankings.

Students achieved 94.9 per cent A*-B at A-level this year, up from 92.8 per cent last year, and 95.5 per cent A*-A at GCSE.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “This relatively small all-girls Catholic boarding school rarely has to advertise its merits, such is the distinctiveness of the education it provides in a crowded marketplace. To that distinctiveness can now be added outstanding academic achievement.

“This year’s examination results are good enough to push the school into the UK top 10, continuing the upward trajectory of recent years. Its results put many of the “big name” independent schools in the region firmly into the shade and represent an outstanding achievement by the girls and their teachers alike.”

To view the full guide, visit the Sunday Times website.