A school which was told it needed improvement by Ofsted has been congratulated on the performance of its pupils by a government minister.

Jane Powell, headteacher of Woodford Green Primary School, received a personal letter from schools minister David Laws MP.

The results show that the primary school based in Sunset Avenue of Woodford Green is ranked amongst the 250 top performing schools for pupil’s progress between key stage 1 and the end of key stage 2.

This is despite Ofsted inspectors classifying the school as needing improvement in its last inspection report 12 months ago.

In the letter, Mr Laws says the school ‘is exceptionally effective in educating its pupils’.

Ms Powell described receiving the letter as a “lovely surprise”, but admitted she was confused in the light of Ofsted’s conclusion.

She said: "I didn’t even know these letters existed so it was a very lovely surprise to be congratulated on our hard work and to be able to share this with parents who have all been extremely supportive.

"100 per cent of our pupils made the expected level of progress or more in maths and English between key stage 1 and 2, so it was a little confusing to be told in December 2012 by Ofsted that our school requires improvement.

Mother Archana Ravalia, 39, of Woodford Green, has three children under the age of 10 who attend the school.

She said: "This is brilliant news and it just goes to show how the efforts by parents and staff working together can deliver fantastic results.

"The school has definitely made improvements over the past year and now it’s all about making sure this is maintained by keeping up the standards."