PRIMARY school staff and pupils are celebrating after achieving the most improved attendance in the county.

Pupils' attendance at Hazelmere Infant School and Nursery, in Hawthorn Avenue, Colchester, improved by 2.5 per cent in the last year.

The school also has the second most improved figures for persistent absence - a sizeable decrease of 11.6 per cent.

Headteacher Steven Turnbull said: "We are delighted that our attendance has improved so dramatically.

"This is down to a great team effort from our staff who have worked alongside Jacqui Crombie from Aquinas School Attendance Provisions to support and challenge our families to get their children into school every day.

"The response from our families has been nothing short of spectacular."

As part of the drive, two soft toy bears, named Toby and Tilly, visit the class with the best attendance each day.

Mr Turnbull added: "Every half term, nearly 100 children celebrate 100 per cent attendance at special recognition assemblies.

"The most important thing is that our children love coming to school every day.

"The better their attendance, the more they will learn and achieve."

Nic Davey, a school governor, added: "This is wonderful news, well done to everyone.

"I have always been impressed by the hard work and dedication all staff put in.

"I am so proud of the school and to be part of the school community."