BRADNINCH is among the best places for families to live in the entire country, a survey has found.
The Duchy town is among the top 20 locations for its "strong reputation for education" and "low levels of crime", states the Family Friendly Hotspots Report for 2012.
Family Investments, which commissioned the study, placed the community at number 15 following an analysis of 2,400 postcode areas in England and Wales which has revealed the most desirable places to bring up a child. Results are also based on the amenities offered, population and the affordability of homes in the area.
Claire Baillie, primary headteacher of The Duchy School, was understandably delighted with the judgment. "We obviously think Bradninch is a fantastic place to be.
"We were in competition with other towns and villages all over the country so we are very pleased to be that highly rated," she added.
Pupils have been described as "really happy and motivated" who work extremely hard in the classroom.
The Duchy's youngsters have gained a reputation for being a sporting force to be reckoned with as they often win tag rugby and football tournaments.
But there is richness to the activities offered at the school as budding artists and musicians are also well catered for.
Mrs Baillie said there is a "real sense of community here."
She has also hailed the pre-school as "highly rated", as are other childcare providers, and said the town boasts a range of sport clubs and other organisations which contribute to it being "an excellent place to live."
"One of the aspects the survey looked at was SATS results for eleven-year-olds, and certainly ours were above national expectations," added Mrs Baillie.
The average Key Stage 2 score for pupils in Bradninch was 29.06, narrowly losing out to the top town of Wokingham, Berkshire, which had a score of 29.16. The town was also highly regarded for having favourable house price to earning rations, which are at an average of £182,990 to £32,032, respectively. Bradninch was also praised for its history as it was listed in the 1086 Domesday Book.
Cllr John Berry, who represents the town, said: "Everywhere you will get some disturbance but, as far as I'm concerned, Bradninch is fairly trouble-free."