ONE of the biggest primary schools in West Devon is celebrating after being awarded the prestigious Investor in People title by Quest Ltd.

Tavistock Community Primary School, which has 450 pupils and 72 staff members, prides itself on being 'an enjoyable place to work' and has demonstrated how commitment to staff training and teamwork brings real improvements in every area of school life.

SATs results at Key Stage 2 have been improving steadily over the last three years — in English, the school has achieved a pass rate of 70 per cent against an expected 45 per cent.

A recent survey of parents showed a high degree of satisfaction with the quality of education at the school, while it has also maintained its excellent reputation for its work with children with special educational needs.

Joe Flynn, headteacher, said striving towards Investor in People standard had helped staff to work together as a team.

He discussed training needs with all staff members before it was made compulsory by government and the entire staff was offered computer training after the school's new IT suite was opened.

Mr Flynn said: 'Our school is a partnership between children, staff, parents, governors, the local community and the LEA. Part of our ethos is to make our school an enjoyable place to work.'

Mr Flynn said the learning support assistants now feel part of the entire school, in that their length of contract is no longer determined by a spell of work with a particular child.

And some of the non-teaching staff at the school have joined the parent learning-children learning group, which helps parents work more effectively with children by raising their skills in IT, maths, art and crafts.

Jenni Brady, Investors in People assessor, said: 'There is a palpable atmosphere of team working in the school. The teaching staff, learning support assistants, mealtime assistants and other support staff work very co-operatively in their determined effort to provide the best possible education for their children.'

She also praised the effects of a mediator scheme, where older children have been trained to deal with playground disputes.

'There is a very caring attitude observable, including the children's attitudes towards each other,' she said.