Pupils across the county this morning found out the results of all their hard work and there was much to celebrate.

Early indications suggest 2016 students have surpassed achievements from last year in all recognised performance measures.

Most notably, 62% of pupils achieved grades A* to C in both maths and English – a 5% increase on last year.

The figure compares favourably to the 2015 national average of 58% and comes despite a national decline in the A* to C pass rate for 16-year-olds this summer.

Cllr Ossie Johnson, the council’s portfolio holder for children and young people’s services, said: “This is a very pleasing achievement against a continuing backdrop of significant changes in the examination system.

“We are confident that our improved rates of progress in both English and maths will place County Durham in a very strong position nationally.”

Offering his congratulations to county students for their success, Cllr Johnson added: “We are delighted that young people have worked so hard to achieve these excellent results.

“They reflect the continuing hard work and commitment of all staff and pupils in County Durham’s schools.

“We also recognise and greatly value the support and encouragement given by our parents and carers.

“We are very proud of the young people of County Durham.”