A headteacher has commended her dedicated staff and pupils as a St Albans school has improved from "satisfactory" to "outstanding" in its recent Ofsted report.

Anne Spencer’s comments come after Ofsted inspectors rated Batchwood School in Townsend Drive outstanding saying it had made improvements since its previous inspection in 2009 when it was rated satisfactory.

The school was awarded outstanding marks in the achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching categories and outstanding marks in the behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management categories during its visit in March.

Ms Spencer, said pupils at the school with social, behavioural and emotional difficulties had worked "very hard" for this outcome.

She said: "We are all delighted. The inspectors praised our partnerships with alternative outside providers, such as Oaklands, and the fact that these partnerships support our students to become lifelong learners and achieve success at college and beyond. Everyone is to be commended for their commitment to the school, especially the students."

The inspectors observed 17 lessons, all of which were observed jointly with the headteacher or deputy headteacher.

There are 51 pupils aged between 11 and 16 years at the school and the Ofsted report highlighted outstanding behaviour and "remarkable progress in improving and managing their own behaviour".

The report continued: "Students take pride in the school and their achievements and treat adults and each other with courtesy and respect."

Inspectors also highlighted "the warmth and positive regard with which all staff treat the students enables them to offer support and guidance which are listened to and acted upon."

Furthermore inspectors said the headteacher, senior leaders and governors provided "outstanding leadership for the school" and they had been "exceptionally effective in tackling the issues identified at the previous inspection."

Kerry Pollard, chair of governors,  said: "I have nothing but praise for all the team under the guidance of headteacher Anne Spencer, including the leaders, teaching and support staff, governors and ‘Friends At Batchwood’, volunteers, mentors, students and parents, who have worked tirelessly together to provide an outstanding school to ensure the students make expected, and above expected, progress.

"The impact of this can be seen in the students themselves striving to achieve exceptional things, which will have a marked effect on their futures."

Senior leaders were also praised for being "very clear about where improvements were needed" in order to take appropriate action to raise achievement and improve the quality of teaching.

Since the last inspection inspectors said "well-established and rigorous checking by senior staff, and on occasions the local authority and external consultants" had been central to the consistent rise in teaching standards.

Inspectors said to ensure the school maintained its outstanding rating the school should "continue to develop the skills of all subject leaders so that they all become leaders of learning."