GOVERNMENT inspectors have given Kirklees Council a high rating for the quality of services it provides for children and young people.
The grade three rating awarded is next to the top grade four.
In their judgement, the inspectors rated the council as having excellent prospects for further improvement.
Clr Jim Dodds, Kirklees Council cabinet member for Children's Services, said: "This is an excellent achievement for the service and its partners and a credit to the commitment of all involved to provide the best quality support and services for our children and young people.
"Given that the Children and Young People's Service in Kirklees is still relatively new in terms of its new structure and responsibilities, it is extremely pleasing that it has been so highly judged by the inspectors, with excellent prospects to improve further."
The inspectors' report said that the management team had provided strong leadership and increased the momentum of change.
It said that the Children and Young People's Plan identified clearly the council's commitment, ambition and priorities for improving the lives of children, young people and families in Kirklees.
He said: "The plan acknowledges strengths and weaknesses and has identified clear service principles, which are already delivering improved outcomes for children and young people."
The inspection report highlighted the council's commitment to the health and welfare of young people.
It said: "The Kirklees Healthy Schools Partnership provides a co-ordinated approach to promoting the health of children and young people. It includes a whole school approach to food and nutrition, sex and relationship education and alcohol, tobacco and substance misuse which encourages pupils' involvement in strategic planning and evaluation of services."
Standards attained by children and young people were satisfactory overall and indicated a rising trend
"Children are supported well in their early years and make good progress towards meeting early learning goals. Support for childcare providers has focused appropriately on identified areas for development.
"Results at the end of Key Stage 1 are above the national average, and at Key Stage 2 and 3 standards have continued to improve and are in line with the national average.
"However, pupils' progress between Key Stage 1 and 2 is below the national average.
"The proportion of pupils achieving five passes at A* to C at the end of Key Stage 4 has risen and is in line with statistical neighbours.
The number gaining at least one GCSE remains higher than in similar areas.
Clr Dodds said: "We will be paying very careful attention to areas pinpointed by the inspectors for improvement and developing action plans to address those issues to ensure that improvements are made where required and high standards maintained and progressed further."