The new secretary of state for education chooses a Soham school as his first official visit
PUBLISHED: 17:22 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:22 16 January 2018
A Soham school was chosen as the first official visit for the new secretary of state for education.
MP Damian Hinds was joined for his visit to St Andrew’s Primary School by South East Cambridgeshire MP Lucy Frazer.
Mr Hinds said: “It has been a pleasure to meet the talented teachers and ambitious pupils at St Andrew’s. The school is raising standards for children in Cambridgeshire and inspiring them to make the most of their lives.
“I am excited to build on the strong record of raising standards that our bold reforms and the hard work of schools – like St Andrew’s – have helped to deliver.”
Headteacher of the DEMAT school, Mike Harrison said: “The opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by St. Andrew’s Primary, and the wider education system, was invaluable and we appreciated his constructive views.
“We are also very pleased he took the opportunity to meet our wonderful pupils and discuss a range of issues pertinent to their young lives.
“This visit is very much a recognition for all of the school’s stakeholders’ hard work in making the school a success.”
Andrew Read, chief executive of DEMAT, added: “The Trust greatly appreciated the recognition by the new secretary of state of the work of diocesan and other multi academy trusts in supporting the wider national agenda to improve outcomes for young people.
“St Andrew’s is a shining example of the benefits of being part of a successful multi-academy trust, as recognised in our recent whole-trust Ofsted review.”
Mr Hinds, MP for East Hampshire, and Lucy Frazer spent more than two hours with staff and pupils during the visit to the 480-pupil school.
He answered questions about his new role from Year 5 pupils – shortly to visit the Houses of Parliament - and listened to the views of staff and leaders.
St Andrew’s was chosen partly because Fenland and East Cambridgeshire is designated as an opportunity area - one of 12 to receive a share of £72 million to help create opportunities and raise education standards in disadvantaged areas.
The school has a strong focus on encouraging every child to realise their potential, with recent results showing pupils are above average for reading.
DEMAT is rated by OfSTED as a high-performing trust with 86 per cent of its schools rated good or outstanding, including St Andrew’s.