The tables relate to England's maintained and independent secondary schools and colleges, excluding special schools.
They are listed in various ways within each local authority: alphabetically, and ranked on key indicators from their GCSE and equivalent results, A/AS-level results and contextual value added measures for 2006.
The tables are based on statistics supplied by the then Department for Education and Skills in January 2007.
Smaller schools with fewer than 30 candidates are not ranked, although for completeness they are included in the alphabetical lists and have their own pages.
Independent schools have (IND) after their name, academically selective schools have (SEL).
Clicking on any establishment's name in the lists takes you to a page showing its results and other information.
The key GCSE-LEVEL indicator is new this year.
Previously the department's benchmark has been the proportion of pupils attaining the Level 2 threshold - equivalent to five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C.
This year it has toughened that to say the five must include English and maths GCSEs.
The figures relate to pupils at the end of Key Stage 4, which in most schools will be those in Year 11 (aged 15 at the start of the school year) the age group in which most pupils normally take their GCSEs and equivalent exams.
As a tie-break in our listings, schools achieving the same rank are further ranked on the average point score achieved by students.
The government's data do not include the results of International GCSEs which are taken by a growing number of independent schools, whose performance therefore appears unexpectedly poor.
Independent schools do not have a local authority (LA) but are grouped with other schools in their geographical area.
The averages for an area are for the state schools in the relevant LA, though the national averages do include independent schools.
NA in the tables indicates that there is no data or that the category is not applicable. Reasons vary: for example it might not have had any relevant exam entries in a particular year.
CONTEXTUAL VALUE ADDED: PUPILS' IMPROVEMENT
The results incorporate a new, complex Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4 contextual value added (CVA) score designed to show the progress children have made.
This is done by comparing their achievements with those of other pupils nationally who had the same or similar prior attainment in their test results at age 10 or 11 in 2001.
CVA includes nine factors known to affect pupils' attainment but outside a school's control:
Special Educational Needs
Eligible for Free School Meals
IDACI (a postcode-based deprivation measure)
What CVA does is predict what a given child's attainment should be based on the actual attainment of other children with similar prior attainment and similar backgrounds.
The idea is that how they actually performed - better or worse than the others - is down to the school's influence.
The pupils' individual scores are averaged to give a score for the school as a whole, to which another calculation is applied, finally producing a number based around 1000.
The absolute "bottom" to "top" range this year is 919.2 to 1078.7.
Schools on 1028.85 and above are in the top 5% of schools nationally, those on 972.83 and below are in the bottom 5%.
The DfES says that if every pupil in a school achieved the median (middle) outcome for pupils with their level of prior attainment, the school would score 1000.
Care has to be taken when reading the rankings, with no great significance being read into small differences.
A # symbol indicates that less than half a school's pupils were included in the calculation, and the result is not published.
There are no CVA scores for independent schools because the DfES does not have the necessary data on their pupils.
The tables show the average points per student of 16 to 18-year-olds at the end of advanced level study in the 2005-2006 academic year.
The government's tables have been changed this year to include, along with AS and A-levels, a much wider range of qualifications such as BTecs, International Baccalaureate diplomas, NVQs and City & Guilds.
This has involved the introduction of a new points system, so the results cannot be compared with those from rpevious years. For example, an A-level grade A is 270 points, the same as a BTec National Award D, while a BTec National Diploma at MMM is 652.5 points and a score of 40 in the IB is worth 1,230 points.
Not all qualifications are counted, however. So the results of students who took the International Baccalaureate Diploma are included but not those who took the International Baccalaureate Certificate.
After the school's name and address comes information about its TYPE, admissions policy and any specialism. See the end of this article for more detail on this.
The ABSENCE figures are the percentage of half day sessions missed by pupils, with and without the school's authorisation: "negligible" means less than 0.05%.There is a link to the alphabetical list of all schools in the same local education authority.
And there is a link to the page on the website of the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) where the most recent inspection report can be found.
The school's results are then presented as graphs as well as in figures. The graph bars allow a quick comparison between the school's results and the highest and lowest ranking schools in that category, as well as showing local and national averages where applicable.
The CONTEXTUAL VALUE ADDED score comes first.
At GCSE-LEVEL the number "eligible" to take the exams is followed by the percentage of them with special educational needs, with or without statements.
The KEY STAGE 4 figure is the percentage of pupils who achieved the Level 2 threshold - five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C or their equivalents, INCLUDING English and maths.
Four years' worth of Key Stage 4 results are not yet available so the TREND shows this year's result on the old measure - attainment of 15-year-olds - with the equivalent figures for the previous three years, with the warning that a much wider range of qualifications was included from 2004.
The A/AS-LEVEL shows the average point score per student in those and a wide range of equivalent exams. On the coloured bars, "top" is 1410.
The points are those devised by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
Links at the foot of each school page are provided to compare its performance with that of other schools, where applicable.
Academy (City Academy) - independent state schools where sponsors invest in the building or modernisation of the premises and the state meets running costs.
Community school (formerly county school) - maintained by the local education authority (LEA), which is responsible for the school's admissions policy.
Voluntary aided - maintained by the LEA, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints most of the governing body, which is usually responsible for the school's admissions policy.
Voluntary controlled - maintained by the LEA, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some governors.
Foundation school (usually formerly grant-maintained) - may have a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some of the governors. Maintained by the education authority but decides its own admissions policy.
City Technology College or City College for the Technology of the Arts - an earlier form of Academy.
IND - Independent school - mostly fee-paying.
Comprehensive - takes all pupils, usually regardless of their ability, aptitude, or whether they have been selected for a place at a selective school.
Secondary modern - takes pupils regardless of their ability or aptitude and who have not been selected for a place at a selective school.
SEL - selective - takes pupils depending on their academic ability.
Non-selective - independent school which takes pupils usually regardless of their ability or aptitude.
Boys, Girls ... - shows whether or not the school's intake is single sex.
The age range is self-explanatory - though a school might have a sixth form which is not officially part of the school roll.
In addition, most schools now have one or more "specialist" subjects:
B business and enterprise
M maths and computing