A SCHOOL near Ilminster is celebrating after they were given the thumbs up by a government minister.

Neroche Primary School received a letter of commendation from the minister of state for school standards Nick Gibb MP, congratulating the school on exemplary phonics test results.

The school is now in the top eight per cent in the country.

The school received a 97 per cent pass rate for the Statutory Year 1 Phonics Test in 2016.

MP Gibb said: “Your school is in the top eight per cent of all primary schools in the country.

“Thank you for your work in this vital area of a child’s early education and again congratulations to you and your staff for all you have achieved.”

Year 1 teacher Jessica Millard said: “We do all we can to make reading fun for our children. If the children love reading, they will motivate themselves to achieve well. I am so proud of the children.”

Headteacher Connel Boyle added: “I am so pleased the hard work of our staff in their drive to provide the best possible education for our youngest children has been recognised at a national level.

“To find out though that our results place us in the top eight per cent nationally has given all of us a real morale boost.

“This is great news for all the families and communities we serve to know just how well we are performing as a school for our children.”