PUPILS and staff at All Hallows School in Preston are celebrating after scooping the coveted Beacon status.

The prestigious accolade is given to schools which have achieved high standards in education.

They are expected to be a guiding light for other schools in the area and to show them good practice.

It means staff at All Hallows are responsible for teaming-up with other local schools to help advise their staff on how to overcome any teaching problems they are facing during their working day.

Up and down the country 425 new Beacon Schools have been created bringing the total to 1,000 -- a year ahead of the Government's national target.

All Hallows School, in Crabtree Avenue, Penwortham, is the only Lancashire high school to receive Beacon status in this latest round and one of 78 in the whole of the North West region.

Other Lancashire winners include a nursery school in Nelson, near Burnley, and Duke Street Nursery School in Chorley. Through the Beacon schools award the Government is committed to improving the secondary schools system.

Secretary for Education and Skills, Estelle Morris, said: "We are maintaining the focus on assisting schools that are in the most disadvantaged and underachieving areas of the country. Schools use the extra funding to work with their partner schools."

Deputy headteacher at All Hallows Tony Hacking said: "The school is very pleased with the award. It is a credit to the staff that we have achieved Beacon status.

"Through their hard work and dedication the school has raised its GCSE achievement from 64 per cent to 77 per cent.

"We are now ready for the challenge of sharing our good practice with other schools and look forward to working with them and helping them to improve."