Ministers have highlighted seven Birmingham schools for praise after they succeeded in dramatically improving GCSE results.
Education Minister Nick Gibb wrote to headteachers to thank them and their staff for raising standards.
Schools receiving letters included Frankley Community High School, where the number of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs including English and maths at grades A to C – the benchmark used by the government – rose from just 11 per cent in 2008 to 48 per cent last year.
Other schools to receive the accolade included Broadway School, Perry Barr; Cockshut Hill Technology College, near Bordesley Green, George Dixon International School, Edgbaston; Kings Heath Boys Mathematics and Computing College, Kings Heath; Perry Beeches School, Perry Barr, and Smith’s Wood Sports College, Smith’s Wood.
In total, Ministers sent 105 letters to the most improved schools across the country. Birmingham schools received more than those in any other city outside London.
For Frankley Community High, the letter is recognition of years of hard work which involved forming a partnership with another nearby school, Colmers Sports and Science College, where results were better.
The school set out to raise the self-esteem and aspiration of pupils with an emphasis on discipline and enforcing uniform policies, prizes for attendance and achievement work in the community and a new system of pupil leaders, who were given positions of responsibility within the school.
Headteacher Jane Harris said: “It’s involved a lot of hard work from the staff, who are a really dedicated and fantastic team. There was no magic wand to make it easy.”
Mr Gibb said in his letter: “I would like to congratulate your staff, governors and pupils for their hard work and success and thank you for your leadership in continuing the drive towards the highest standards of educational achievement.”
He said afterwards: “We want every school to be an excellent school – that is why we are driving up academic standards by encouraging the best graduates into teaching, developing a world-class curriculum, and improving behaviour in our classrooms.”