A HALESOWEN primary school is celebrating after it was given an Outstanding rating by Ofsted.

Lapal Primary has been given the top rating after inspectors visited the Priory Road school on February 8 and 9.

Inspectors heaped praise on the school, which is a member of the Hales Valley Trust, rating it outstanding in all areas - Overall Effectiveness, Leadership and Management, Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development and Early Years.

The school was previously rated Good - its last inspection was in 2020.

Inspectors said "pupils are happy, safe and secure" and praised leaders and staff who have "high expectations and provide an ambitious and extremely effective curriculum."

They added that: "Academic standards are consistently high, but the impact of the school’s work goes much further than this.

"Beyond everyday lessons, there are plenty of exciting, worthwhile activities that fuel pupils’ interests and support them to become responsible young people.

"There are many after-school clubs, trips and visitors that enrich school life."

The school has gone from strength to strength since Executive Headteacher Joanna Turner joined in 2009 as deputy head, then headteacher, moving to her current role last September.

She said: "I am thrilled with the Outstanding Ofsted judgment and feel incredibly proud and privileged to lead such a wonderful school.

"The positive outcome is a testament to the care, commitment and collaboration of my staff and governors, the support from our families, and obviously the hard work and dedication of our wonderful children.

"I am extremely proud of everyone."

She added: "It is much harder for schools to achieve the top judgement than it used to be, and very few schools are being judged as ‘outstanding’ under the new framework, and so we are unsurprisingly very pleased, particularly given the difficulties of the last few years.

"The inspectors used the word 'exceptional' on many occasions during their feedback."