A SCHOOL in Darlington is celebrating a £20,320 award to mark its success.

Haughton Community School, which has arts college status, received the news in a letter from Education Minister Estelle Morris yesterday.

The School Achievement Award recognises improvements in exam results.

The success is mirrored by the number of parents choosing the school for their children.

Numbers for September admissions will be up by 20 per cent compared to last year.

The award will be paid by the Department for Education and Employment (DFEE) via the local education authority, Darlington Borough Council, in April.

The governors are being asked to decide how the awards will be distributed to staff.

Haughton headteacher Shelagh Potter said: "Haughton Community School is growing in popularity.

"Our improved examination results, arts college status and this morning's news from the DFEE can only make things better still for our pupils and staff."