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The Secretary of State for Education , The Right Honourable Nicky Morgan visits Banovallum

On Thursday 19th May 2016 and Banovallum School and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School Horncastle were honoured by a visit from Nicky Morgan, The Secretary of State for Education.


The Secretary of State had heard about the exciting and innovative partnership the two schools have formed through the Horncastle Umbrella Trust.

Arnie Harris – Year 11 as he presented The Secretary of State with one of his original works.

Mrs Morgan was accompanied by our local MP Victoria Atkins.  The Secretary of State met with the Student Councils from both schools for a question and answer session. Mrs Morgan told students that every child should have the opportunity to go to an excellent school like the ones they attended. Students asked her and Victoria Atkins a range of questions from what it is like to work with David Cameron to their views on the EU Referendum and the new GCSEs.


The Secretary of State was greeted at Banovallum School by Ella Barr (Head Girl) and Jake Tittershill (Senior Prefect) and Banovallum’s official photographer, the award winning, Arnie Harris. Arnie was delighted to present both Mrs Morgan and Mrs Atkins with a canvas print of one of his original works.

Also present at Banovallum were Mrs Ireland (Chair of Governors), Mandy Fitzaden-Grey (Vice Chair) and Heather Sandy (Assistant director for Children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council). Ms Shore was keen to point out that both schools continue to work closely, particularly on elements of pedagogy, with the local authority, despite having chosen to become academies.

Izzy Rylance – Year 7 explains her Technology work to The Secretary of State for Education and Victoria Atkins MP.

The Secretary of State toured Banovallum, led by the students and visited Technology where Izzy Rylance in Year 7 explained her design project and the Year 11 Photography lesson where the students were putting the final touches to GCSE portfolios. The final part of the tour took the guests to Year 10 English where both The Secretary of State and Mrs Atkins discussed literature with the students.

Once the students had left, staff and governors from both schools and a number of visiting headteachers from the Horncastle and Louth constituency and wider Lincolnshire attended the question and answer session that The Secretary of State had kindly agreed to participate in.

Mrs Morgan MP began by stating that her visit had been initiated by Victoria Atkins having offered the invitation during questions in the House of Commons. The place of RE  and Creative Arts in the curriculum were discussed, as were the new assessment systems, fairer funding, alternative provision and the drive to support effective collaboration between schools.

The Headteachers of both schools were able to give very positive accounts about the strength of the partnership and were extremely grateful for the support of Victoria Atkins MP in the early stages of collaboration. The visit served to give great confidence in the Horncastle Trust for all concerned but particularly to allow the young people of Horncastle, some of whom are in the busy examination season, to realise that their schools have attracted such significant national interest. The students, as ever, did us all very proud!