Education minister: “school inspirational”

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The Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan visited The Eastbourne Academy yesterday, and described the school as ‘inspirational’.

She was given a tour by students and principal Keith Pailthorpe, who showed her around the school, meeting teachers and students, and showing her how the school works with iPads to teach their students.

Mrs Morgan also watched a performing arts piece by students on homophobic bullying and took part in a student question and answer forum as part of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) History Month.

When asked what she thought of the school, Mrs Morgan said, “I think it is fantastic.

“I have never seen so many students with such great characters.

“I think they are inspirational and everything you could want from a secondary school.”

Principal Mr Pailthorpe said, “I have been incredibly proud of the students today. They are what this academy is all about.”

The students told Mrs Morgan about SPHERE, lessons which focus on topics such as sex and relationship, drugs and alcohol, diversity, careers and emotional health and wellbeing.

They spoke about how it was a safe place to talk about their issues and gain support from their peers.

As it is LBGT History Month, the school has also been talking about homophobic bullying, and educating students on LBGT issues.

One student, Spencer, said, “On LGBT month, it helps us realise no matter what anyone is ,whether they are a different sexuality, we can accept them for who they are.”