SANDHURST School headmaster Andrew Fletcher has slammed a report which portrays the town as socially deprived.

He is particularly incensed at the claim that his 1,000-pupil comprehensive school sets poor educational standards and harbours a high number of young criminals.

In fact, said Mr Fletcher, the school had made huge strides in recent years to become one of the best in Berkshire.

"We are over subscribed by parents wanting to send their children here," he continued.

He was also appalled at the report's claim that five per cent of the school's pupils were arrested by police in 1998.

"The police rang me last Friday to say they don't know where that figure came from," he said. In the past year just six pupils had found themselves in trouble with the police.

Mr Fletcher said: "The report creates a false picture of the school and the community…it's a shoddy and unprofessional piece of writing."

The 10-page report was compiled by Berkshire Community Council, and was the front page lead in the Star.

It claimed that Sandhurst was the "most disadvantaged parish in the Bracknell Forest Council area" with an increasing rate of teenage pregnancies.

The report has also upset the local Liberal Democrats whose chairman, Ray Earwicker, said: "The statistics in the report have been taken out of context to paint a picture of Sandhurst which few would recognise."

He also attacked political opponent Peter North, Sandhurst Town Council chairman and mayor, for circulating the report. Mr Earwicker accused him of being prepared to "drag the good name of Sandhurst through the mud" in a bid to gain support for the construction of a young people's Information and Advice Centre in the town.