CHILDREN'S services in Harrow has been rated among the best in the country receiving a grade of 'outstanding' from a watchdog.
The nationwide annual assessment by Ofsted rated just 28 local authorities in England at the same level - the highest grade.
The report, released last week, highlighted a number of key strengths in the borough including its improved fostering adoption service, as highlighted by the Observer last month.
The report also stated that Harrows schools continue to perform to an excellent standard, with secondary schools and special education schools achieving a 100 per cent rating.
Key achievements included almost all nursery and primary schools as having a 'good or outstanding rating', as well as the borough having 97.2 per cent of young people in education, training or employment - slightly higher than the national average of 95 per cent.
Director for children's services in Harrow, Catherine Doran, said: "This excellent result makes us one of the best children's services in the country.
"This is an amazing achievement, especially given the number
of challenges the authority has faced over the last 18 months. We have had to manage large savings, the transfer of seven high schools to academies, setting up of a new school improvement partnership and a significant transformation programme.
"Achieving this result shows the real team effort across the children's sector and schools in Harrow."
Among initiatives helping to set Harrow apart from other local authorities, include The Harrow School Improvement Partnership (HSIP), launched this year to improve support between schools and Harrow's adoption partnership with children's charity Coram, which has gained widespread praise.
Harrow's youth workers were also singled out following their involvement with police patrols during the London riots, which saw the group nominated for a London Peace Award.