Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting IGNEWS to 80360, or email
‘Thoughtful’ Horsforth students enjoy Minister’s visit
Horsforth School won high praise from Education Secretary Michael Gove during a visit this week.
Mr Gove decided to see the academy for himself after hearing about its success it from the area’s Conservative MP Stuart Andrew.
The Education Secretary paid tribute to the school and its students, and explained to pupils why he felt an overhaul of the A-level system was necessary.
Mr Gove, who was in Leeds on Monday with the rest of the cabinet, visited Horsforth School after it was recommended to him by Mr Andrew.
“Stuart Andrew is an outstanding MP and when he offers me advice I listen,” he said.
“I asked Stuart to see an example of a school of which he was proud – it didn’t surprise me that it was an academy.
“It seems to me to be a very good school with a vision for the future. They have got very high standards.
“I was particularly impressed by how articulate and thoughtful the students were.”
After meeting senior staff Mr Gove talked to young people from the school council and took notes of their views.
In recent days the Education Secretary has come in for fierce criticism for his planned changes to the A-level system – with Cambridge University and teaching unions among his detractors. Under his plan, the current system of sitting AS-levels after one year, with the results contributing to final grades, will be scrapped.
But he defended his actions to Horsforth’s school council – arguing that too much time was being spent on exams and assessments under the present system, with an in-depth understanding of subjects being sacrificed.
“The basic concern that I had – and it applies to GCSEs as well – is that too much time at school is spent on assessments and sitting exams, and on exam technique, and not enough time is spent on the subject,” he said.
Mr Gove also discussed changes to A- levels with senior management who also told him of the demographic pressures on Horsforth School and the shortage of places at local primary schools.