THE headteacher named Scotland's best has met the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.

Paul McLaughlin, from St Ninian's High School in Kirkintilloch, was the only Scots teacher invited to a reception with Gordon Brown to celebrate excellence in education.

The invite came after Mr McLaughlin won Headteacher of the Year at the Scottish Education Awards earlier this year.

He was also shortlisted in the same category of the UK Teaching Awards, hosted by celebrities Myleene Klass and Jeremy Vine last month.

Mr McLaughlin said: "The award is recognition of the marvellous work of the staff and pupils.

"We are building a tradition at St Ninian's as David Millar, a teacher at the school, won UK Secondary School Teacher of the Year last year."

Paul took his wife with him on the trip and Labour MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Rosemary McKenna invited the couple to join her for lunch at the Houses of Parliament before they went to Downing Street.

Councillor Una Walker, convener of East Dunbarton- shire's education committee, said: "Paul McLaughlin's achievement is a fitting tribute and recognition of the tremendous work he and his team do for the children at St Ninian's."

Earlier this year St Ninian's was recognised for achieving the status of Centre of Excellence.

It was among the 20 schools chosen in 2005 to launch the Scottish Government's Schools of Ambition programme.

Schools were given £100,000 extra investment annually over three years to improve facilities and the curriculum.

St Ninian's pledged to help raise the ambition of all pupils and extend links with the local community.

Three years on, the Scottish Government said the school had successfully met its aims - and 10 pupils were chosen to organise the National Schools of Ambition Pupil Conference at Hampden Park in recognition of the school's achievements.

In March the school was given three "excellents" in its HMIE report.