School receives top award for academic achievement

Education Secretary Michael Gove presented QE with a prestigious London Evening Standard Schools Award for Academic Excellence at the newspaper’s headquarters.

Queen Elizabeth’s School was represented at the special ceremony by the Headmaster, Neil Enright, the Chairman of Governors, Barrie Martin, and by six boys from Year 13.

QE was among seven winning schools lauded by Mr Gove for their “you can do anything” attitude. All of the winners were highly praised by Ofsted inspectors in their most recent reports.

“London schools are the best in the whole country, so if you are the best schools in London that means you are the best schools in the country,” Mr Gove said.

“The fact you are being recognised by the Evening Standard, which is the best newspaper, is a particular compliment.”

The awards are sponsored by the Jack Petchey Foundation. Mr Gove encouraged students to live their lives by the Jack Petchey motto: “If you think you can, you can.”

""Mr Enright expressed his satisfaction with the award: “The Foundation was so impressed by the School’s achievements that it additionally awarded us £1,000 to be used as we see fit to enhance the provision of education at QE. This is a wonderful accolade and it is gratifying to know that our efforts in providing the very best education to our boys are widely recognised. To this end, I would like to thank all staff for the meticulous, dedicated and ongoing effort which they put in to providing a first-class education and the administrative systems which support that.”

The evening event included a buffet and a tour of the Standard’s newsroom floor by the Managing Editor, as well as the presentation ceremony itself.

""During the evening, 17-year-old QE student Kiki Ifalaye took the opportunity to speak to Mr Gove about the A-level ‘facilitating subjects’ list. Government league tables now measure schools on their performance in facilitating subjects – a list drawn up by the Russell Group of leading universities based on its assessment of which subjects helped Sixth-Formers gain university places.

“Because Economics is not a facilitating subject it inclines students to steer away from it, even though it’s a rigorous A-level” said Kiki. “The list should be broader.”

Mr Gove agreed that he found it “odd” that Economics was not a facilitating subject, and revealed that Schools Minister David Laws — who studied Economics at Cambridge — found it “even more perplexing”. He pointed out that the list was drawn up by the Russell Group and was designed to help make students more aware of the consequences of their A-level choices and that taking a range of subjects leaves every door open.