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Visit by Secretary of State

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson MP visited Everton Free School last week and praised the Alternative Provision facility as a “shining light and an inspiration” in encouraging young people to be involved in education.

The Member of Parliament for South Staffordshire visited Everton Free School and Football College as part of an England-wide tour around various primary and secondary schools and explained why he was so keen to visit the Spellow Lane facility:

“As soon as I got the job as Education Secretary everyone was telling me how this was one of the best schools in delivering Alternative Provision anywhere in the United Kingdom and I wanted to come here, learn about what is being done, why it has been so successful and why it is making such a big difference to so many young people’s lives.’

During his visit to Liverpool 4, the Education Secretary was led on a tour around the School by Principal Richard Cronin and Everton in the Community Director of Youth Engagement, Employability and Sports Development Sue Gregory and had the opportunity to call into lessons to observe delivery and meet with students and teachers alike.

Mr Williamson then joined the students for a traditional school lunch and a few games of table tennis at break-time before meeting with young people from both Everton Free School and Everton Football College to find out more about their education journey and their thoughts on the school, the curriculum on offer and their relationship with their teachers.

Reflecting on a busy few hours, the Education Secretary said:

“What has been so fascinating about my visit today is how Everton Football Club is playing such a leading role in helping and inspiring young people. The quality of the teaching and the respect that is shown between the pupils and the teachers, and the teachers and the pupils and the fact that it is focused on trying to create the right type, and the very best type of learning environment for those youngsters and how you can replicate that, and how you can use some of the lessons from here and deploy them right around the country.”

And after finding out more about Everton Football Club’s plans to retain a strong legacy in Liverpool4 after the move to Bramley Moore Dock, Mr Williamson said:

“I’d really like to play tribute to Everton Football Club, there are very few football clubs who have done something like Everton has done. Very few football clubs have shown the leadership, shown the courage and shown the ambition for all young people in the community, realising that actually Everton is made up of the people that support it and it’s important to be putting something back.

“Everton Free School is such a shining light and such an inspiration and I am incredibly grateful for Everton Football Club for giving a lot of young people an opportunity they wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for them and you can see the real fire that people have when they are wearing the Everton uniform of Everton Free School – the sense that they have that connection to the Club, an amazing Club that has always been such a key part of everything in this local community and the pride that these youngsters have in being part of what Everton FC stands for; being the very best.” Everton in the Community created history in September 2012 when it was the first ‘Club-Community’ scheme in the country to be awarded funding by the Government to open a Free School; a ground-breaking initiative for young people across Merseyside.

Mr Williamson posted on Twitter following his visit so if you would like to know more please click here.

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