A PRIMARY school has been ranked 55th in the country for the progress its pupils have made.

Minister for schools David Laws wrote to St Barnabas and St Paul’s CofE Voluntary Aided School, in Blackburn, to congratulate it on its ‘excellent performance’.

It comes after a table of the top performing schools in terms of the progress made by pupils between the end of key stage one and the end of key stage two was published.

Headteacher at the Oakenhurst Road school Carla Martini put the improvement down to high expectations and dedication.

She said: “I am absolutely thrilled with this amazing achievement and it is down to lots of hard work from everyone working at school.

“Our ethos at school is that everyone focuses on the children and teaching and learning and how, as a team, we can help every child to achieve their best.”

Mrs Martini said the school’s next aim was to achieve ‘outstanding’ status at its next Ofsted inspection.

She said: “It would be the icing on the cake and it would be a real commendation to all the staff because it recognises what is going on in school.”

The school was notified of its success in a letter from Mr Laws, in which he applauded the school’s hard work.

He said: “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on the excellent performance of your pupils.

“Your school is exceptionally effective in educating its pupils. It is clear that you and your staff have provided your pupils with a good start in life and a strong springboard into secondary education.

“I would like to congratulate your staff, governors and pupils for their hard work and success.”