My visit to Number 10
Last term, I received a special invitation to a reception at 10 Downing Street to celebrate “Good Schools for Everyone” and was asked to choose one student from the school to accompany me.
It was an amazing privilege to represent the school, although I have to say, it was difficult to choose just one student, as we have so many amazing young people at Urmston Grammar.
I selected Year 8 student Ange Boli and she was a remarkable ambassador for our school. When she spoke about what attending Urmston means to her, it made me feel very proud that our school – from the staff and students to the facilities and enrichment activities – have had such a positive impact on her life – as I hope it has for all our students.
When we arrived at Number 10, there was lots of airport style security and I think we both felt that it was a little surreal that we were actually going to meet the Prime Minister at her residence.
We were greeted by the PM’s staff and were first introduced to a very important resident, Larry the cat – he is something of a feline celebrity.
Ange and I were told that we would have the opportunity to meet with the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, and then PM Theresa May, before we went into the main reception, to give them a flavour of what our school is about.
Also present were two pupils from other grammar schools, a pupil from an independent school and headteachers from a university free school and multi-academy trusts.
The Prime Minister and Education Secretary were keen to hear from heads and students alike, about the great work that goes on in these schools, and they took the opportunity to express the government’s commitment to their vision of creating good schools for everyone.
We were able to share with them what made our school so special – and how we supported our students. Ange was asked about the subjects she enjoyed the most – which for her is maths – and what she would like to do. She said: “I am not sure about what exactly I would like to do yet – but whatever I choose, I would like it to be something that has a positive impact on society – and makes a real difference to people’s lives”.
When we went into the main reception – the PM gave a speech about creating a fairer society and how committed she was in ensuring that all children should be able to attend a good school and get a good education.
It was a fantastic experience and great to get some national recognition for the great work that we do in this school.
What I think was most important to share is that our school is a community – we have a shared goal of wanting everyone to achieve their full potential. We have high expectations and encourage all students to have high aspirations.