On Monday 22nd June Prime Minister David Cameron visited Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy. He was at our school to meet staff and pupils and to deliver a speech on education and welfare. The Prime Minister was greeted at the front of school by two year 10 pupils, Callum Ellis and Sarah Taylor. He then proceeded to a meeting with our Executive Principal, Mr Rigby and our Principal, Mr Wyss.
Mr Cameron then moved to the library where he met with pupils Jonathan Shaw, Sam Kendrick, Kenniann Grainger, Elliott Collins, Sarah Taylor, Callum Ellis and Ellis Judge and teachers Miss O'Keeffe, Mr Fenner, Mr Elliott and Miss Watkins. The Prime Minister asked pupils about their University plans and their future aspirations and he was very interested in the opportunities that OBA provide. He spoke about his own A-levels and said how he regretted the fact that he did not study maths at A-level! During the discussion Mr Cameron also spoke about how he felt upon winning the General Election and revealed to us that he did not actually have a 'winner's speech' prepared as the polls had convinced him that the Conservative party would not win the election outright.
After the meeting in the library, Mr Cameron moved to the learning plaza where he delivered a speech that was broadcast nationally. At the start of the speech he praised Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy's achievements. He began the speech with the following comments:
"It's a privilege to be here. And this is an amazing school.
Those figures you've just heard from the Head; they are staggering. To go from the fifth of students getting five good GCSEs to over two thirds, well above the national average, that is a remarkable transformation. And to do it here, in a school where some 60-65% of children are on free school meals, really demonstrates in fact what this whole speech is about. Don't worry, I'm still going to give the speech, but in just a few words it is 'you can do it'.
A school like this demonstrates we can tackle underachievement. We can tackle disadvantage. We can boost opportunity in our country. It can be done.
And schools like this, I find, are the most inspiring places that I visit as Prime Minister: to see what you've done, to take that 20% and turn it into 68%, is a remarkable thing. So thank you, and please keep doing it. You're an example to other schools. And other schools not just in low income parts of our country, or deprived parts of our country, but frankly you're an inspiration to schools in very wealthy areas of our country who don't get results as good as this. And that message should ring out from this great school today."
After he had given his speech Mr Cameron went to our Sixth form café where members of year 12 and 13 served him tea, sandwiches and cakes. He closed his visit by thanking our staff and pupils for welcoming him so warmly.
The Prime Minister's visit was a fantastic day for Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy. Staff and pupils were extremely proud to welcome such a high profile guest and proud to be congratulated for our amazing achievements.
Mr Wyss summed up what the visit meant to OBA's community; "As you can imagine, I am extremely proud that The Prime Minister has recognised us as a centre of excellence and beacon of opportunity. It was a delight to welcome Mr Cameron and his team into the Academy and the OBA family shone. We are always seeking to improve outcomes and opportunities for our students, families and staff but to have this celebrated in the national spotlight is stunning."
From the Ormiston Academies Trust
Prime Minister David Cameron today visited Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Runcorn. The school, which has been sponsored by Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) since 2010, was selected by the Prime Minister as a shining example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination, after the Trust and a new School Leadership Team, driven by John Rigby and latterly Mark Wyss, have turned it around.
During the visit, the Prime Minister met privately with staff, before joining a roundtable discussion with students and going on to make a wide-ranging speech.
Talking after the visit, Principal Mark Wyss said:
"It was an absolute honour to welcome the Prime Minister to Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy today.
In his speech the Rt Hon David Cameron highlighted the importance of a 'first class education'. At Ormiston Bolingbroke, we firmly believe that there is no limit to the opportunities that can be opened up through learning and instilling the highest aspirations across our academy's family and community.
Last year 52 of the sixth formers from Ormiston Bolingbroke were the first in their families to go to university. We are determined to ensure many more students follow in their footsteps. As well as the work we are doing in the classroom every day, Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) has also appointed an Access Champion, Simon Pedley - himself an Oxbridge graduate - who is working with us and other OAT academies to help students navigate the application process for the best universities.
We are proud to be part of Ormiston Academies Trust family, a chain that is taking on some of the toughest challenges in education across the country. We share the Trust's ethos that irrespective of where a child comes from, their time at school can change the course of where they end up. We will continue working with students and our local community, to raise horizons and create opportunity."