An alternative school league table which ranks schools on how much they improve pupils has rated some North-East schools among the country's best.
The tables have been compiled after research, by two education professors in London, compared schools' performances in last year's national tests with the social background of their children.
The adjusted league tables rate Gateshead as having the third best secondary schools and the fourth best primary schools, with Sunderland also in the top 10 nationally for both.
Gateshead also had the region's best primary and secondary in Whickham Parochial Church of England Primary and Emmanuel College. But schools in Newcastle and Northumberland fared less well in the tables.
David Mitchell, Gateshead's director for learning and schools said: "There are many ways of measuring successes of our schools: this is just one of them.
"Gateshead teachers, school staff and governors all work hard to give young people the best education they can and these results demonstrate some of their achievements."
The tables are based on research by Professor Richard Webber of University College London, and Professor Tim Butler from Kings College London.
Their study compares the test performance of 1.2m pupils in English state schools with the postcode-based social classification system Mosaic, so that the social make-up of each school's pupils is taken into account.
The adjusted league table shows many schools deemed to be failing are actually doing relatively well, considering their intake, while some high-scoring schools aren't doing as well as they possibly might.
Professor Webber said: "The research brings into perspective the relevance of the current league tables as a tool for assessing teaching performance or management .
"It suggests a league table which ignores the social background of a school's intake is necessarily an unfair and imprecise means of judging the effectiveness of a school's management and for rewarding heads and teachers for their performance."
Analysis of North-East schools in the research shows its top eight secondary schools are all either church schools or have a Christian ethos. Many primary schools are too small to be included in the study but, of those that qualify, the best schools are spread around the region and include church schools and non-Christian establishments. But no schools from either Northumberland or Newcastle make it into either top 10.
Peter Armstrong, headteacher at Whickham Parochial School, said: "We've always been academically very successful but we like to pride ourselves too on nurturing children.
"Tables are great in many ways but they don't always tell the full story."
Principal of Emmanuel College Jonathan Winch said: "This study proves it is possible for children from a variety of backgrounds to attain high academic performance if they go to a school that believes in them.
"Most of our students come from families with no tradition of further education yet 70% stay on in sixth form and nearly all of these go on to university."
Top 10 primary schools* :
1. Whickham Parochial Primary School, Gateshead.
2. Our Lady Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School, Sunderland.
3. Hartside Primary School, Crook, County Durham.
4. Simonside Primary School, South Shields.
5. Ryhope Junior School, Sunderland.
6. Biddick Primary School, Washington.
7. Lambton Primary School, Washington.
8. St Anne's Catholic Primary School, Gateshead.
9. Bill Quay Primary School, Gateshead.
10. Etherley Lane Primary School, Bishop Auckland.
* Many of the region's primary schools are judged to be too small for the statistical analysis involved in the study.
TOP 10 SECONDARY SCHOOLS:
1. Emmanuel College, Gateshead.
2. St Thomas More Catholic School, Gateshead.
3. St Thomas More RC School, North Shields.
4. St Edmund Campion RC School, Gateshead.
5. St Leonard's RC School, Durham.
6. St Joseph's RC Comprehensive, Hebburn.
7. Sacred Heart Catholic High School, Newcastle.
8. St Anthony's Girls School, Sunderland.
9. Oxclose Community School, Washington.
10. Harton Technology College, South Shields.