AN Amersham school is celebrating after being named the top grammar school in the country. Dr Challoner's Grammar School beat off competition from 163 schools in England to finish top of the latest school league performance tables.

Every single pupil at the selective school for boys achieved five or more A* - C GCSE grades in English and maths in 2010, while their A Level students managed an average score of 1027.4 – 150 points more than the nearest South Bucks rival.

Headteacher Dr Mark Fenton said: "I'm just so happy for each and everyone of the boys, I think it's more important than the league tables to know the hard work they've put in has paid off and it's going to benefit them in the future."

On the future of the school, Dr Fenton is embracing their 'academy' status, which came into force at the start of 2011: "We've had record results in GCSEs and A Levels and now we're the first school in Bucks to get this status.

"It means we're more in charge of our own destiny as we're accountable directly to the Department of Education rather than Bucks County Council.

"It should enable us to work more efficiently and with all the council cuts taking place, there should be a lot of mileage in being independent."

Established in 1624, the school which caters for 11-18 year olds, also fared well in the new English Baccalaureate rating system.

The flagship measure introduced by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove features in the performance tables for the first time this year and shows how many 16 year olds are gaining a grade C in maths, English, the sciences, a language and a humanity.

Dr Challoner's was the best performing school in Bucks in this category, with 87 per cent of students reaching the grade in the combination of subjects.

The English Baccalaureate has come under fire from some quarters nationally though after it was revealed only one in six teenagers made the threshold in England.

Last week Mr Gove acknowledged he may revisit the new measure after concerns were raised about the subjects included.

Dr Challoner's also celebrated the news 19 of its A Level students have won places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities this year.