STATE schools from across the west of Scotland have increased their dominance in this year’s Herald league tables.

Eight of the top ten secondaries based on their performance in Higher exams are from Glasgow and surrounding council regions.

Jordanhill School, in the city’s west end, recorded the highest proportion of pupils achieving five or more Highers by the time they left school with 81 per cent achieving the benchmark.

Dr Paul Thomson, the rector of Jordanhill, welcomed another strong set of results for the school, which is state-funded but independently run.

He said: “At Jordanhill we have never set targets for examination results and any success we may have reflects our philosophy of supporting and challenging each young person based on their individual strengths and needs.

“Our teachers, pupil support assistants and others always go the extra mile to understand and help each pupil.

“Regardless of home background, gender, race, additional support needs or abilities our pupils consistently achieve far beyond what might reasonably be expected.”

READ MORE: Schools across the social divide working hard to give pupils the best possible chance in life

Mr Thomson said a vital part of the school’s exam success was engaging with parents and helping them to understand how they could best support children.

There was another year of success for secondaries in East Renfrewshire with three of the council’s schools in the top five in our table - based on data published on the Parentzone Scotland website.

The work the council has also done to close the attainment gap between rich and poor was evident in the performance of schools serving more diverse communities such as St Luke’s High School, in Barrhead, where nearly a quarter of pupils are from some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the country.

Schools in East Dunbartonshire also feature prominently with six secondaries in our table of the top 50 schools in Scotland.

In the city of Glasgow, where deprivation levels reach some of the highest levels in the UK, the majority of schools have improved performance.

READ MORE: ‘Marginal’ progress on closing attainment gap between rich and poor

The top performing council-run state school in the city was the Glasgow Gaelic School with Hyndland Secondary coming second.

Chris Cunningham, Glasgow City Council’s convener of education, welcomed the progress made in schools across the city.

He said: “Our young people and schools should be extremely proud of their achievements because this is the best attainment results for the city.

“Our schools are doing all that they can to close the attainment gap, despite well documented circumstances, and we will continue to look at ways to help every Glasgow pupil be the best they can be.”

While the league tables make for some interesting comparisons between schools one of the most notable columns is the percentage of pupils from Scotland’s poorest communities at each school.

Strikingly, half of the schools on our list have no pupils who come from the poorest 20 per cent of communities under the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Because the impact of deprivation is the single biggest drag on the attainment of pupils this figure is a reminder that the league table is not necessarily comparing like with like.

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Schools in our list with higher proportions of pupils from poorer backgrounds are therefore dealing with a more complex set of social problems amongst its pupils yet still delivering impressive exam results.

Joanna Murphy, chairwoman of the National Parent Forum of Scotland, said families should be aware of such complexities before choosing a school.

She said: “Making judgements about where a school sits by using senior school results is a very misleading picture which isn’t good for school communities.

“This sort of data doesn’t show the whole picture of a school and its individual circumstances which are important to understand. They also don’t measure children’s happiness.”

Eileen Prior, executive director of parent body Connect, said the organisation was in favour of transparency about school information.

She said: “We encourage parents and teachers to build a relationship of trust so they can share information with confidence to support the learning of the child.

“The information published on Parentzone gives parents some information, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

“If parents are considering making a placing request away from their catchment school we would strongly recommend they visit and speak to staff and parents and do their research.”

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A spokesman for Education Scotland, which hosts Parentzone, said the website had a unique spread of information from the early years through to school and beyond.

He added: “The website provides up-to-date information about learning in Scotland as well as practical advice and ideas to support children’s learning at home.”