Buckingham’s two secondary schools and its university received a visit from the Secretary of State for Education last Friday.
Education secretary Michael Gove visited the Buckingham School and the Royal Latin School at the invitation of MP for Buckingham John Bercow.
At the Buckingham School, Mr Gove was welcomed by headteacher Angela Wells.
He then observed a Year 9 maths lesson using iPads, before meeting a group of governors, student leaders and student voice co-odinator Haydon Chart.
Mr Gove chatted to the student leaders, including head boy Bradley Hoines and his sister Rachel, head girl Amelia Barnard, Megan King, Jade Hurst-Houldsworth, Sophie Thornton Russell, Simeon Klette and Bert Martin.
Mr Gove asked the pupils about their career aspirations and what difference student voice has made to the school.
Mr Gove told the students: “The reason I’m here is that John is incredibly proud of you and your school and knows how hard you’ve worked to get where you are. “
Mr Bercow said: “It’s true I’m thrilled to bits at the way the school’s developed over the last few years.
“Thank you for showcasing the school and yourselves to such good effect.”
Mrs Wells said: “I am delighted our students and staff have had the opportunity to share the journey and progress of our school with Mr Gove. He has seen the creative and innovative strategies which we are using to build positive and successful learners.”
Moving on to the Royal Latin School, Mr Gove met headteacher David Hudson, head girl Poppy Duran and deputy head boy Dami Ewedemi, before joining a group of students who presented their views on the education provided by the school.
He then visited lessons in the existing science department and viewed plans for the Discovery Centre that will replace them in 2015.
Mr Hudson said: “Today’s visit has been a wonderful opportunity to explain the extent of our need for investment in new science facilities, and it is heartening to see Mr Gove’s approval of the increased opportunities the Discovery Centre will give our students from 2015.”
Mr Gove ended his day with a lively debate at the University of Buckingham, where headteachers and prospective heads studying for a masters degree in educational leadership (MEd) challenged the Education Secretary on his views about running secondary schools.
The teachers had been set the task of saying how they would improve a fictional secondary school. Mr Gove said: “You will not recruit great teachers unless you get rid of inadequate teachers.”