BETTER late than never — that's a letter from a Government Minister praising the excellent achievements of a primary school.

When the results of St Saviour's CE Primary School's SATs were officially released in January this year, staff and children were rightly proud — not just because they achieved perfect 100 per cent pass rate in English and maths, but also the marked progress children had made.

So the school in Fold Road, Ringley, was surprised when it did not receive a letter of congratulations from Minister of Education David Laws.

It was only after a little detective work that the school found out the letter — which describes the school as exceptional — had been lost in cyberspace for sometime. When it bounced back, it was sent by post, but to the wrong address, before it was returned and finally re-posted to the right address.

Headteacher Ian Southern said: "Everyone at the school was delighted to finally get this national recognition, as we are extremely proud of the achievements of all our children.

"My deputy decided to dig a bit further and found out that the school is the 13th best primary school in the country out of 14,851 schools based on the average point score over the last four years with an average of 30.9."

The letter from Mr Laws said: "Your results show that you are amongst the 100 top performing schools in terms of the progress your pupils make between key stage one and the end of key stage two.

"Your school is exceptionally effective in educating its pupils."

Statistics unearthed by deputy headteacher Jonathan Moorhouse included the school being in the top 100 performing schools in terms of progress between key stage one and key stage two.

Joint 18th in the country out of 20,674 listed schools based on contextual value added — showing how far children had come; second in the North West out of 2,858 primary schools. and first in Bolton out of 107 primary schools

The school was also joint 13th best in the country on Average Point Score with 33.6; fifth in the North West; and first in Bolton by 1.3 points out of 107 primary schools.

Mr Southern said: "The school is very proud of the achievements of all our children, but it is lovely to be recognised in this way.

"We were delighted to find out about our performance over the last four years and feel this is down to the hard work of our staff, support of our parents, guidance from the governors and enthusiasm and thirst for learning that our wonderful children display."