THE number of Enfield pupils achieving five or more GCSEs grade A to C still falls below the national average according to the latest statistics.

Figures released by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) show overall, 48.3 percent of children in the borough achieved five or more grade A to C passes compared to the national average of 52.9 per cent and the London average of 52.6 per cent.

However, the borough has witnessed a slight improvement in exam results raising its figure from 46.2 per cent in 2002 and 47 per cent in 2001.

Enfield's highest achieving schools were selective entry establishments Latymer School, Palmers Green High and St John's Preparatory and Senior where 100 percent of pupils achieved five grade A to Cs.

Southgate School, St Ignatius College, Bishop Stopford CE School, Enfield Grammar, Broomfield and St Anne's Catholic High School for Girls also reached target.

Edmonton County, Albany, Winchmore, Chace Community, Kingsmead and Salisbury scjools failed to make the grade with Lea Valley High at the bottom of the table at 17 percent and Alyward School with 19 percent.

Despite the overall figure, council leader Cllr Mike Rye congratulated pulils and staff on the results achiveed.

But he highlighted the problems which he believes are preventing children from achieving better grades in Enfield schools.

He said: "Part of the result is due to the fact that we have a high turnover in population at the moment. We have many children who speak English as their second language which presents difficulties for them in accessing the curriculum."

He said truancy was a contributing factor which the council was tackling with a high profile truancy campaign.

Cllr Rye added: "To acheive better results in schools we need to target key groups in terms of those pupils who are on the C to D borderline. It is about sharing good procedures in many schools, making sure schools access support funds including making use of Neighbourhood Renewal Funds to support extra classes to improve results further."

The highest achieving London borough in the DfES table was Redbridge with 65.5 per cent of pupils making the grade, while neighbouring borough Haringey, placed on the Government's London Challenge scheme to improve, achieved 38.9 percent.