A Bradford head teacher has been voted the country's best in a national awards contest.

Jayne Clarke, head of Ryecroft Academy in Holme Wood, was described as inspirational by the judges of the TES school awards as she was declared Head Teacher of the Year.

Ryecroft had suffered a decade of being classed as a failing school before Mrs Clarke become its head in 2008.

Within two years it had been rated as "good" by education watchdog Ofsted and in 2012 it became the first primary in Bradford to convert to an academy in a bid to further improve its performance.

Last year the Government singled out the school as an example how its academy partnership had turned around its fortunes and earlier this year Ofsted judged the school to be outstanding.

Declaring Mrs Clarke as winner of the TES awards, the judges noted Ryecroft draws most of its pupils from one of the poorest catchments in the country, with 90 per cent of students requiring external support and 80 per cent eligible for free school meals.

"For many children, school lunch is their only proper meal," they said.

"Yet, from this starting point, the school has made startling progress. Its maths and reading SATS results are now within the top 20 per cent nationally; all students achieve two levels of progress; and 100 per cent of girls and 89 per cent of boys reach level 4 at key stage 2, exceeding national averages."

The judges continued “In some of the most trying circumstances possible - Jayne Clarke and her unconditional respect for all children have achieved miracles.”