Education Secretary Michael Gove: I’d like to clone Costessey school head

Education secretary Michael Gove at Ormiston Victory Academy.

Education secretary Michael Gove at Ormiston Victory Academy.

Education secretary Michael Gove has lavished praise on a Costessey school, hailing it as a prime example of how academies can transform the lives of school pupils.

Mr Gove’s visit to Ormiston Victory Academy came in the midst of a backlash by some teachers and politicians against his leaked proposals to scrap GCSEs and bring back O-levels.

But he said: “If only every school could do what they’ve done here. The success of Ormiston Victory Academy tells its own story.

“You had a school full of lovely young people with poor discipline, low achievement and staff who weren’t really supported. It wasn’t going anywhere.

“And then a mixture of the school becoming a sponsored academy, having support from outside and having a great principal in Rachel de Souza has turned it around.

“So you’ve got a fantastic leadership team and you’ve got the lovely students at last getting the support they need and staff who are enjoying their job.

“If anyone asked me what my ideal education policy would be it would be to clone Rachel 23.000 times.”

Mr Gove was greeted by the school’s headboy Luke Sycamore, 16, and other pupils, including 11-year-old twins Lucie and Mollie Smith.

Mr Gove later turned the first sod on the school’s £14m revamp, which will see a new three-storey building complete with a theatre, art and science terraces, laboratories and dance studios.

The goal is for the students to move into the new building in January 2014.

School watchdogs Ofsted recently hailed the “remarkable” transformation at the school, with the proportion of students getting five or more A* to C GCSES, including English and maths up from 38pc to 64pc.

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