PENDLE headteacher Alan Chambers has said the government's 'obsession' with exams, testing and targets is putting education at risk.

Mr Chambers made his comments at Park High School's presentation evening in Colne's Municpal Hall last night.

He said: "We must strive to create a culture within our society at large in which education is valued, and the need to gain new knowledge and skills throughout a working life is recognised and accepted by all.

"Unfortunately it saddens me to say that for too many people in this country, education in its widest sense is simply not important enough.

"There seems to be an obsession with examinations, testing and targets, which could put at risk some of the things that government and schools are trying to achieve.

"Academic excellence for all of our pupils, yes, but we also have a leading role to play in the development of rational, balanced, adaptable individuals who have well-developed personal and social skills and who recognise they have a contribution to make to the society they live in."

Mr Chambers said he was pleased with the outcome of the school's Ofsted inspection in March, but it had been an 'extremely stressful week'.

He welcomed the £150million investment in Burnley and Pendle secondary schools which will come through the Building Schools for the Future scheme, and plans announced this week to overhaul education for 14 to 19-year-olds.

Mr Chambers also hoped Park High School's application to become a specialist mathematics and computing school would be successful, although the school had struggled to raise the £50,000 sponsorship it needed.

The school was celebrating its best ever Standard Attainment Test results and 47 per cent of Year 11 pupils getting five A* to C grades at GCSE.

Guest of honour was Trawden Forest Primary School headteacher Frank Royle, who handed out more than 50 awards to students for academic, sporting and extra-curricular activities.