Poor areas of the city have been transformed, with nearly a quarter now going on to higher education at university or college.

The work of schools across Glasgow to close the poverty-related attainment gap has been praised in a new report by the national school inspectorate.

The report by Education Scotland found key strengths included a very strong council-wide vision to tackle poverty.

The report found the council had made “exceptional progress” in reducing the impact of poverty on the “educational attainment and achievement” of pupils.

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It also praised the “relentless drive” of Maureen McKenna, the city’s director of education, as well as career-long professional training for teachers which had improved the skills of staff.

The report concludes: “Education Scotland is confident Glasgow City Council is making excellent progress in improving learning, raising attainment and mitigating the impact of poverty on learners.

“A powerful strategic imperative and very strong leadership within education services are helping to secure improved outcomes for children.”

Ten years ago only a quarter of pupils achieved at least one Higher compared to more than 53 per cent last year – an increase of 91 per cent.

Gayle Gorman, Scotland’s chief inspector of education, said: “This report is a real tribute to the teachers and support staff for their outstanding commitment to improving learning and reducing the impact of poverty.

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“I’m very pleased to see staff are well supported and challenged to own and deliver the aspirational goals they have created for all children.

“Outstanding approaches to career-long professional learning and leadership have further strengthened staff skills and knowledge.”

Chris Cunningham, education spokesman for the council, said improvements in schools over the past decade were “remarkable”.

He said: “Children are at the heart of everything we do and there is no such thing as poverty of aspirations in our schools anymore.

“This is despite the fact that almost half of our pupils live in the ten per cent most deprived areas in Scotland.

“No-one in education uses this as an excuse. We tackle these challenges head on and, as highlighted in the inspection, our children are reaping the benefits.”

Susan Quinn, secretary of the Glasgow branch of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: “Staff in our schools are continuing to work extremely hard, against the backdrop of austerity, to ensure all young people are given the best chance of success in their school careers.

“It is welcome that this is being recognised in this report, and teachers and pupils alike should be proud of these accomplishments.”