PRIMARY school pupils and staff are celebrating after an 'outstanding' inspection.

Rowan Tree Primary School in Atherton was given the highest possible rating by education watchdog Ofsted- an improvement of its last score of 'good' three years ago.

Situated at Green Hall Close, Rowan Tree is a specialist school for pupils aged from two to 11 with severe and complex needs.

Inspectors concluded that the school was 'outstanding' in four out of five areas with its leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and wellbeing, and outcomes for pupils all getting top marks.

The other category- its early years provision- was rated as 'good' but is currently in the process of being developed.

The report stated: "The exceptional leadership of the head teacher and senior leaders has created a climate of high expectations, a love of learning and an insistence that barriers can be broken so that every pupil can achieve their best.

"The strong relationships that staff cultivate with pupils mean that they know them extremely well.

"The care and support provided by staff ensure that Rowan Tree is a safe and nurturing place in which pupils can flourish.

"The promotion of pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.

"Personal development, including the teaching of life skills, is interwoven into all aspects of school life and learning."

Ofsted inspectors did mention that the school still has room for improvement.

The report added: "Although outcomes are outstanding overall, opportunities are sometimes missed to extend the most able pupils by asking them more challenging questions and encouraging them to think more deeply about their work."

The inspection was carried out on September 12 and published on October 19.

Head teacher Liz Loftus said: "We are all delighted that the school was judged to be outstanding at our recent Ofsted inspection.

"The pupils, their families and staff work tremendously hard day in, day out to make the school as great as it can be and this has been recognised

"There are a number of truly fantastic and outstanding things about the school.

"The children show desire and determination to learn and do as much as they can for themselves, and the staff team possess creativity and dynamism to support and guide pupils.

"We constantly challenge ourselves to make the school get even better."

The school is planning to hold a party for its pupils on November 24 to celebrate its achievement.

Rowan Tree is also fundraising to develop a new accessible playground for its young children and vulnerable pupils with the target of having a new one installed next year.

If you would like to organise a fundraising event in aid of the project or make a donation, contact the school on 01942 883928.