A FIRE-HIT primary school has risen from the ashes with a top report card from school inspectors.

Last year, the Evening Times told how Hampden School for children with special needs in Toryglen was torched by arsonists, almost destroying the entire building.

Teachers and pupils were devastated by the loss of their school, but now head teacher Mary Cloughley says this new report shows Hampden is like a "phoenix from the ashes".

She said: "We were thrilled to receive such positive affirmation of the school's work in raising attainment and achievement from our recent Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) inspection.

"It was particularly rewarding in the light of the journey the school has made over the past 18 months.

"I like to say we have risen like a phoenix from the ashes."

The HMIe put Hampden under the microscope in November, concluding that the primary school rated four "very goods" and one "excellent".

The nursery class was awarded five "very goods".

Last April, firefighters battled for five hours to control the blaze when vandals torched the school.

At the end of May, most of the children moved to the empty Richmond Park school in Logan Street, Oatlands, with the nursery class and primary one classes going to Hazelwood School in Dumbreck, and the primary seven classes to Linburn School in Hillington, until Richmond School could be renovated to accommodate them all.

The refurbishment of the to the school began while lessons continued as usual, and teachers had to be creative with their classes, working with pupils in the dining hall and the sports hall.

By August last school, the renovations were complete, and all the pupils moved in.

Now, 16 months later, inspectors are impressed with Hampden's standards, saying the children are motivated to learn and that staff have a good relationship with parents. Staff were also praised for their skills in supporting children with challenging behaviour to engage in learning.

Mrs Cloughley, who has taught at the school for 15 years, added: "The school moved to its present location in Oatlands, following a fire at our previous building and the subsequent refurbishment of our present accommodation.

"To have our practice recognised as 'outstanding', 'excellent' and 'very good' is a testament to the hard work and commitment of all the staff.

"We were delighted to have our work in the community acknowledged so positively as we view ourselves as an integral part of the regeneration of the new Oatlands.

"As a school, we are committed to continue to grow and develop and provide the highest quality learning experiences and outcomes for our pupils and parents."

The fire not only destroyed Hampden's building but also damaged specialist equipment designed to support pupils.

Each pupil had a chair specially made and adapted for them, which takes weeks and is very expensive.

However, Mrs Cloughley applied to the Thomas Cook Children's Charity and was awarded £45,000, which the school has used to create a new playground. In addition, Action for Children enlisted some volunteers to create a garden with colourful flower pods and a trellis, and build and paint a fence

Liz McCafferty's daughter Cara, aged eight, is in primary five at the school.

Liz, 43, from Govanhill, was delighted with the school's results and said the resilience of staff and pupils after the fire was amazing.

She said: "Cara has been at Hampden since nursery and her overall progress is clear to see. After the fire, the staff could have decided they were beaten, but not the Hampden staff.

"They bounced back and fought along with some parents for all the youngsters in their care to have a school with facilities to suit the needs of those with complex difficulties.

"This report rewards all the hard work from the old to the new school and is very well deserved.

"Cara just loves coming to school and this makes my life more bearable. A happy child makes the difference in a family."