Former government minister visits Daventry schools

Headteacher Matthew Reetz with Lord Blunkett and pupils from Falconers Hill Academy
Headteacher Matthew Reetz with Lord Blunkett and pupils from Falconers Hill Academy

A former Government minister dropped in to visit schools in and around Daventry on Friday.

David Blunkett, now officially Lord Blunkett, visited Falconers Hill Academy, Abbey Academy, Welton Academy and Newnham Academy.

Headteacher Matthew Reetz, Lord Blunkett, and members of Falconers Hill Academy's school council

Headteacher Matthew Reetz, Lord Blunkett, and members of Falconers Hill Academy's school council

The four schools are all part of the David Ross Education Trust of which Lord Blunkett is chairman.

His first stop was at the Falconers Hill Academy, where he saw the progress made by the junior school, particularly around its Key Stage 2 results.

Headteacher Matthew Reetz said: “We’ve gone in just a few years from being behind the national average to being at the national average – that jump in results means we’re the most improved in the trust. We had 80 per cent reach level 4, and we even had some get level 6 for the first time at the school, which is very good.

“We’ve got a great team and they have worked very hard, as have the pupils. But it’s certainly not the end of the work or the improvements.

“I have children of my own, and I feel that I can’t be headteacher of a school I wouldn’t send my own children to.”

Mr Blunkett, who was Secretary of State for Education and Employment from 1997 to 2001 and trained as a teacher, said: “When I first heard the results I just said ‘wow’.

“Improving primary education is what the trust is about, and it is something we identified when I was in charge of education in government.

“If you can lift standards and achievements at primary level, those children move on to secondary schools and take that uplift with them. I have family that live in Daventry, so I do hear about the situation with schools here.

“We know that if primary schools are good, and the pupils leaving them are achieving well, that when they get to secondary school we can ask more of them and more of the school too. That way the improvements work their way up the system over time.

“A benefit of being part of a multi-academy trust is teachers can share ideas that have worked with other schools, and they can let people know what didn’t work which is just as important.

“It ensures we’re not constantly re-inventing the wheel at each school, and instead passing on good practices.”