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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 00:01 GMT
Inspectors give school top marks
Pupils at St Mark's school in Barrhead with their headteacher
Headteacher Patricia Kennedy with pupils at St Mark's
A primary school with a roll of 264 pupils has claimed the title of Scotland's best school.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) awarded St Mark's Primary in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, 11 "excellents" in their report card.

The school also claimed another first with an "excellent" for teaching that was described as outstanding.

Headteacher Patricia Kennedy said the report was a tremendous tribute to the work of everyone at St Mark's.

"We're delighted with the report and very proud indeed of what each and every one of our pupils achieves and attains at St Mark's," she said.

The report means St Mark's tops Our Lady of the Missions Primary School in Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire, which achieved nine "excellents" in its HMIE report in October 2006.

Mixed catchment

Pupils were praised for being friendly, confident and well behaved.

Inspectors added that the broad and well-balanced curriculum provided "excellently" for pupils' spiritual, personal and social development.

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St Mark's covers the Auchenback and Springhill areas of Barrhead and 22% of pupils qualify for free school meals.

About a third of the school roll comes from out of the catchment area, with parents choosing St Mark's over other schools.

East Renfrewshire's education convener Mary Montague said: "Here is a primary school which serves a mixed catchment area, with a wide variety of housing types and social backgrounds, and it has outperformed schools in more affluent parts of our area and elsewhere.

"Its success has much more to do with the high quality of the work at St Mark's and the backing we give all of our schools rather than postcode or social factors."

Education minister Hugh Henry met pupils, staff and parents at the school to congratulate them on their achievement.

Mr Henry said: "We want all schools to be excellent schools - places where all pupils have the chance to realise their full potential.

"St Mark's is a great example of just what can be achieved."


SEE ALSO
MSP critical of school inspectors
15 Feb 07 |  Scotland
Schools quality 'varies too much'
28 Nov 06 |  Scotland
Primary school 'best in Scotland'
23 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West

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