Damian Hinds met with pupils and teachers at a primary school in Cambridgeshire today (11 January) during his first visit as Secretary of State for Education.
Mr Hinds was given a tour of St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School in Soham, one of nearly 19,000 good or outstanding schools across the country, which included watching pupils taking lessons. Pupils in Year 5 showed him around the school library and asked him about the world of politics, ahead of a forthcoming visit they have to the Houses of Parliament.
St Andrew’s – which is in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, one of the Department for Education’s twelve Opportunity Areas – has a strong focus on encouraging every child to realise their potential and raising standards. Recent results have shown pupils are above average for reading.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
It has been an absolute pleasure to meet the talented and hardworking teachers at St Andrew’s and meet school children benefiting from a school which is inspiring them to make the most of their lives.
Up and down the country, schools like St Andrew’s are raising educational standards for our young people and helping the government to deliver on its bold reforms. There are 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010 and our pupils are now amongst the world’s best readers.
I want to make sure everyone in this country gets a world-class education and look forward to visiting more nurseries, schools, colleges and universities to see for myself some of the excellent progress being made and what more needs to be done.
Standards in primary schools are rising across the country, with latest national assessment results in reading, writing and maths up 8 percentage points on last year and 154,000 more six-year-olds now on track to become fluent readers than in 2012.
The school is also part of a high-performing multi-academy trust, which has 86% of schools rated good or outstanding. 1.9 million more children are now in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, and a record nine out of ten schools were given this rating at their last inspection. Fenland and East Cambridgeshire is one of twelve areas receiving a share of £72million pounds to help create opportunities and raise education standards in parts of the country where children and young people face greater challenges.