STAFF and pupils at a Rossendale primary school are celebrating being rated as outstanding by an education watchdog.

Ofsted Inspector Geoffrey Yates found Helmshore Primary School was performing ‘outstandingly’ in each of the five key categories of the inspection, including pupil achievement, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, management and overall effectiveness.

In his report Mr Yates said: “This is an outstanding school. The school exceeds national targets because pupils, staff and leaders with the support of parents and carers, have high expectations and a relentless focus on wanting to do even better.

“This stems from the highly effective leadership of the teacher and the leadership team.”

The 103-year-old Gregory Fold School, which teaches 371 pupils, was the subject of a two day inspection on March 13 and 14.

Headteacher Christine Myers said “I attribute this excellent achievement to the dedication, commitment and professionalism of each and every member of the staff team and congratulate them on this fantastic achievement.

“The children, as always, made us very proud.

”Our school’s Mission Statement and ethos is to enable each and every child to “become the best they are able to be” and to encourage children to be motivated to learn in a stimulating, creative environment. This has placed us in a good position to achieve outstanding status.

“The school has always had a good reputation and has served several generations of many local families.”

The school recently lost a high profile legal battle with residents after closing off a public footpath that cut across the school’s playing field.