nationally one in four schools and colleges fails to ensure students score the A-Level grades often required by top universities, new league tables suggest.

And tens of thousands of youngsters are still attending under-performing schools that are failing to meet tough targets on the numbers of pupils gaining decent GCSEs.

In total, 195 schools in England, collectively teaching around 167,000 children, are falling below the Government’s new floor target for secondaries, the figures show.

This means that less than 40 per cent of their pupils are gaining at least five GCSEs at grade C or higher, including English and maths, and students are not making good enough progress in these two core subjects.

The new tables are based on data provided by the Department for Education and show how every school and college in England performed at GCSE and A-Level in 2012.

For the first time, the Government has published figures on the numbers of pupils at each school or college that are scoring at least two A grades and a B at A-Level in “facilitating” subjects, including English Literature, maths, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages.

These are subjects either preferred or required by Russell Group universities, which are considered among the top institutions in the UK, including Oxford University.

An initial analysis of the latest statistics suggests that at around 600 schools and colleges out of more than 2,000, no A-Level student scored AAB in facilitating subjects.