SCHOOL inspectors have given a troubled Pendle high school a clean bill of health and released it from special measures six months ahead of the deadline given to staff.

Ofsted inspectors visited Mansfield High, Brierfield, on Thursday and Friday and afterwards told delighted staff the news they and parents had been waiting 18 months to hear.

Special measures were imposed in summer 1998 after inspectors were called in by the government because of concerns over the management of the school, one of the largest in Lancashire. The school was given two years to get out of special measures. Children were today given letters to take home to their parents confirming the decision.

Vice-chairman of governors Pauline Allen said: "We are informing parents of any change in our status before there is anything in the Press.

"We have been criticised in the past for not letting parents know. We promised them we would tell them first of any changes."

Associate head Peter Dixon said: "This decision reflects creditably on the hard work of staff and students, who have met an ambitious target six months early. The school is now in a position to move forward and is optimistic about the future."

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