Secretary of State praises Heathfield Community College on a recent visit

7th December

Secretary of State praise for “fantastic” College

Gillian Keegan – Secretary of State for Education, Caroline Barlow – Head Teacher, Huw Merriman MP

On Friday 1 December Heathfield Community College was honoured to host the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan at the College, alongside constituency MP Huw Merriman.

The visit included a tour of the College, and some high-quality learning in a range of lessons, speaking to Year 7, 11 and 6th Form students in both English and Chemistry lessons. The Secretary of State then actively engaged in discussions with the School Council, students drawn from all year groups 7-11 who were focusing on the use of technology, including AI, to support learning in lessons as well as independent revision and homework.  She was impressed by their evaluative comments, noting where they were using technology critically to support their studies and where they felt the College could expand its use even further. Students were also heard articulately debating which aspects were more useful than others. 

Further to this, in a discussion with Headteacher, Caroline Barlow, Gillian Keegan expressed admiration for how the College used technology confidently as well as also how articulate and impressive the students were in their engagement.

The team expressed admiration for the level of aspiration and ambition demonstrated by the students they had spoken to and described the College as ‘absolutely fantastic’ and ‘a wonderful school’. 

“We are very proud of all students who were involved and represented the College so well. Both Daisy Petroni and Amy Washington-Thurston engaged the Secretary of State in an impressive conversation about their army scholarship ambitions and Corin Banfield, alongside presenting her with a bouquet of flowers, explained her ambitions to study law, matching the aspirations of a number of students that the team had met during their tour of the school, ” explained Caroline Barlow Head Teacher

The Secretary of State commented: “Thank you for showing me around your brilliant college. Your students were incredibly engaged and very impressive. Huge thank you to you and your wonderful teachers for all the work you’re doing.”