A primary school was today celebrating being ranked one of the best in the country by Government inspectors.

The achievement of Eldwick Primary School, near Bingley, underscores the huge contrast in performance between primary schools in the Bradford district.

It has been labelled outstanding' in its latest Ofsted report, by achieving grade one in every area of the inspection.

This has come at a time when the overall academic performance of primary schools in the district is reportedly falling.

Last week, the Telegraph & Argus reported how the latest review by Education Bradford, the private company which is halfway through a ten-year £360 million contract to run schools in the district, showed that overall primary schools' academic performance had fallen for the last three years.

The large numbers of children entering the schools system with poor overall education, including use of English, is thought to be a major reason behind the slipping standards.

The review is likely to provoke a stormy debate when it is discussed by Bradford Council's Young People and Education Improvement Committee tomorrow.

Committee chairman Councillor Philip Thornton said he was disappointed by the results of the review and the Council had expected a "great deal more" from Education Bradford.

John Gaskin, Education Bradford's managing director, who will personally report to the meeting, has admitted that faster improvements are needed.

Education Bradford has now identified 17 primary schools that are causing particular concern and has set up support programmes for them.

Among them is Usher Street Primary, off Wakefield Road, Bradford, which has been on Ofsted's own list of concern for longer than any other school in the country.

Today, Eldwick's head teacher Susan Greenwood said her school's success was due to its "partnership" approach, with a particular emphasis on involving parents in all aspects of school life.

"Our school is built on partnership and this report is one that every member of the school community can be proud of," she said.

"The report quotes one parent as saying, the school is fantastic - it's like one big family'.

"In a large two form entry primary school it is wonderful that parents feel that way. Everyone at the school is delighted with the result.

"I am particularly pleased with the inspector's comments that teaching and learning are of the highest quality' and that we have an outstanding curriculum which provides pupils with bountiful enjoyment and interest'."

The school posted grade one results in its overall effectiveness, achievements and standards, personal development and wellbeing, teaching and learning, curriculum and other activities, care, guidance, support, leadership and management.

Inspectors also noted that the school had an excellent climate for learning' and provided excellent value for money.

Writing in the report, they added: "The school's inspection of 2002 told us that Eldwick School is a very good school with many strengths.

"The school has not rested on its laurels, but has built upon its success exceedingly well - its future is very bright. This is because of the outstanding leadership and management at all levels.

"The learning environment is excellent and promotes pupils independence."

Cheryl Astley, chairman of governors at the school, said: "The governors are delighted that the school has been awarded outstanding' status.

"It is testament to the partnership between teachers, parents, pupils and governors. It's fantastic all our efforts have been recognised."

Councillor Dale Smith, Bradford Council's executive member for children's services and education, said: "As a former governor at the school, I am delighted and thrilled that the school has had such excellent results and I would like to congratulate the staff on the hard work I know they have put in."

e-mail: dan.webber@bradford.newsquest.co.uk