A school in Hendon which inspectors deemed to be failing just over a year ago is now being hailed as a record-breaker after being brought out of special measures within just 13 months.

Jenny Pick, associate head-teacher of Hendon School in Golders Hill, said she was delighted by an early indication from Ofsted inspectors that the school was now doing well.

An inspection on Wednesday and Thursday last week judged that it was an 'effective school with lots of good features'.

"It;s quite exceptional to turn it round this quickly," said Mrs Pick.

"We need to check, but we think it's a record. We are not a satisfactory school; we are effective, with a lot of good features and we are very confident that in two years, at the next Ofsted inspection, we will be a very good school, if not excellent."

Mrs Pick was appointed by the Department for Education and Skills' (DfES) London Challenge team, which aims to bring ailing schools back up to scratch. For the last three years she has been working in troubled schools. But at Hendon School. Mrs Pick worked in tandem, with an executive headteacher from a successful school in the borough, who helped her to develop a school strategy.

Nick Christou, headteacher of East Barnet School in Chestnut Grove in East Barnet, will continue working together with Mrs Pick for the coming year.

"I'm shattered but elated," he said. "It is a real record to come out of special measures in a year, and it's a testimony to the dedication of the staff and the students at Hendon, who have always been wonderful."

Mr Christou worked at Hendon before being made headteacher at East Barnet, which Ofsted says is a very good school with inspirational leadership and excellent teaching.

Both Mrs Pick and Mr Christou said their success had been down to a clear vision, strong leadership and encouraging students to work with staff.

"We are a multicultural school which believes in a top-quality education for every member of the school community so that all young people do reach their full potential," said Mrs Pick. "It's about mutual respect. And we have improved a lot, such as the leadership and attendance and punctuality - we now have 93.5 per cent attendance."

A Barnet Council spokeswoman confirmed: "Hendon School really is record-breaking. No other school in Barnet has come out of special measures in such a short time."