Michael Gove praised a free school in Isleworth this morning as he met pupils, staff and parents there.
The education secretary spoke to youngsters during an assembly at Nishkam School West London, in London Road, before dropping in on a couple of lessons.
The multi-faith primary school opened at the empty office block last September and is looking to expand to a permanent site in 2016, where it will eventually accept pupils aged from four to 18.
Speaking at the end of his visit, on which he was accompanied by Brentford & Isleworth MP Mary Macleod, Mr Gove said: "I'm no expert but the pupils seemed to be operating above what you would expect for children of their age, and the teachers I met were excellent."
Addressing the assembly, he asked pupils to name their favourite football team and seemed surprised when the majority plumped for Germany.
Asked by one boy why he was 'in charge of all the schools', he responded: "I ask myself that every day and some people say 'why is he in charge of all the schools?'. It's my responsibility to make sure the teachers get the money they need to make sure you get the education you deserve."
Headteacher Jaspreet Cheema told Mr Gove: "Only 10 per cent of our pupils were on track for reading when they started here but a recent assessment put them at around 85 per cent of where they should be.
"We have smaller class sizes and regular monitoring of children's achievement but one of the most important things for us is our parents, because they're so engaged. Parent workshops help them support their children with their education."
The school has found a permanent site onto which it hopes to expand. It expects to submit a planning application later this year so work can begin in 2015 and the new building is ready to open in September 2016.
Theresa O'Mahony, of Osterley, whose four-year-old son Roan attends the school, said: "I'm really proud of this school because of the values, the kindness and the quality of teaching, which is exceptional.
"I feel my son's making fabulous progress and he's really happy because there's such a friendly atmosphere."
Harsharan Panesar, of Southall, whose daughter Jasmeet, five, is at the school, said: "It's a nice, loving environment and it's important to me that it's a multi-faith ethos school, which teaches children the good values of society as well as giving them a good academic education."
Mr Gove also promised this morning to work with Hammersmith & Fulham Council to find a permanent site for Fulham Boys School Parents of 100 children were left in the lurch when funding for the new free school was pulled at the last minute this week, sparking a political row.