GOOD quality education has driven Gloucestershire in to the top of an influential list for parents.
The county has taken two slots in the Sunday Times' best places for secondary schools list.
Selective grammar schools in Gloucester which launched the city into the top 10 including Sir Thomas Rich's (54th), High School for Girls (73rd), Ribston Hall High School (203rd) and The Crypt School (390th).
In Cheltenham, Pate's Grammar School (4th) was highlighted along with three outstanding comprehensive schools: Balcarras, The Cotswold School and Cleeve School.
County council cabinet member for education Paul McLain said the results had been achieved despite a shortage of funding - for decades Gloucestershire schools have been near the bottom of a league table of the worst funded state schools.
The Government has said it will pump an extra £3million in to them from 2015.
“Both Cheltenham and Gloucester have an awful lot going for them, including great schools,” he said.
“This shows the great work done by the schools, pupils and parents, and that’s recognised nationally.
“It’s also worth pointing out again that our results are great, despite the low level of funding that Gloucestershire has suffered for decades. The extra money that is coming is welcome but will always make Gloucestershire’s case for more.”
Sir Thomas Rich’s headteacher Matthew Morgan said: “I am delighted that Sir Thomas Rich’s is in the top group of schools which put Gloucestershire on the list.
“Results are important but so is development and it’s important that that is recognised.
“I would always say to parents who are considering schools with their children to look around, visit the schools and meet the headteacher.”
Parent Ian Dennis agreed.
“These lists are interesting but you get a better idea of the school by going there,” he said.
Ribston headteacher Amanda Chong added: “It’s based on results and we are very pleased to be part of that group of schools.
“There are various lists which we would like to be in but they are usually assessed differently.”
Alistair McCall, editor of the Sunday Times Power Schools Guide compiled the list which looks at outstanding schools across the UK.
Both Gloucester and Cheltenham made it into the top 10.
He described Gloucester as 'an architectural mixed bag, cheaper than nearby Cheltenham' with the price of average family home £189,000 or £290,000 if detached.
Cheltenham is ‘a civilised sort of place with Regency terraces and festivals' where the average family home will set you back £284K or £454K for a detached house,’ said Mr McCall.