• Delamere Academy is one of Britain’s best schools

Delamere Academy has been named one of the country’s top 10 non-fee paying primary schools.

The school, near Northwich, has been selected as one of Britain’s very best in high-society magazine Tatler’s respected annual guide.

The publication, which describes headteacher Steve Docking as a ‘wonder head’, commends it for consistently being in the top 1% of schools nationally.

Mr Docking said: “It’s a huge honour to be ranked so highly in such a prestigious publication.

“It’s an accolade none of us take for granted, and it reflects the hard work of all our staff, children and parents. It’s great to see our team effort being recognised.”

Tatler launched its ‘best education money can’t buy’ guide to state education in 2014 to offer parents their pick of the best non fee-paying schools.

Delamere is the only English school north of Birmingham to be included in 2018.

Its new report, part of the February edition, highlighted the wealth of sports and activities on offer at Delamere, which include a kaleidoscope of clubs teaching everything from entrepreneurship to yoga.

Tatler also notes that Delamere teams were national finalists in football and swimming last year, and that every child swims once a week, all year round.

It quotes a mother saying: “My children have been cared for, understood and helped to fly.”

Ten years ago Delamere had 42 pupils and was listed for closure, but now it is four-times over subscribed.

A key factor in its remarkable transformation was becoming an academy in 2011.

Mr Docking then created North West Academies Trust (NWAT), of which he is CEO, and it now also runs Oak View Academy in Winsford, St Martin’s in Chester and Ellesmere Primary in Shropshire.

He added: “It has not been an easy road and there were times when I thought I had taken on more than I could handle.

“But with a lot of hard work and good will from friends of the school we are now in a position to compete with the best in the country.

“Many of the state schools in the Tatler guide fall within some of the country’s richest catchment areas, so for a rural school like us to be chosen really shows how far we have come.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has had a part in making our school a very special place for children to learn and flourish.”

Delamere is not the only success story. In just three years under the guidance of NWAT, Oak View has gone from being ranked second worst primary in the country to one of the most improved, according to the Government’s national league tables.

St Martin’s and Ellesmere are also flourishing, and there are plans to open Ledsham Manor in Little Sutton, a purpose built state-of-the-art primary school.

Due to open in 2019, the school’s curriculum will be enriched with sports, music art, languages and regular school trips.

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