ROMSEY School is top of the class when it comes to involvement in the community and it has a national award to prove it.

The school picked up the Community School of the Year title at the 2006 Children and Young People's Services Awards in London.

Headteacher Peter Warburton said: "We are really proud of this award, proud of the fact that the community is at the centre of the work of the school. It benefits all sorts of people in the community and perhaps most of all it benefits the pupils by providing a whole range of opportunities and helping them to achieve.

"I'd like to congratulate all the staff and in particular Jan Lefley, community education manager, whose inspired leadership has made this possible," said Mr Warburton.

Jan didn't attend the London awards ceremony as it clashed with the shool's presentation evening.

Instead, deputy education manager Pam Francis and two pupils' 15-year-year-old Charlie Pottle and Natalie Wassell, 14, who are both in the school's junior community team, collected the award from TV personality Paul Ross.

Pam said: "We are really, really pleased to get the award. It's the first time we've won something like this. We were up against stiff competition."

Romsey was one of four schools - including two primaries - shortlisted for the prestigious award.

To win Romsey had to prove it had done the most to engage within the broader community to offer personal development, social, sporting or other opportunities for pupils beyond the curriculum and classroom.

Romsey is involved in pensioners' tea parties, family trips to the zoo and numerous other activities outside classroom hours.

About 115 groups use the school's premises, including a football team and Romsey Air Training Corps.

Information on the school was compiled by Jan Lefley who leads the Romsey Community Improvement Partnership (multi-agency team) set up to crackdown on antisocial behaviour following a spate of youth crime in the town.