Education Secretary Gillian Keegan meets staff and pupils at Wigan borough high school
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They also discussed changes made at the school, which was the first free school in Greater Manchester when it opened in 2012.
Mr Grundy said: “It’s great to be here as the local MP visiting Atherton High School, which has been on an amazing journey over the last decade.
“I remember when I was a councillor, the school was facing closure with poor GCSE results but since it became a free school it’s now on the verge of being rated as outstanding by Ofsted, looking to upgrade the school buildings and expand its pupil numbers this year.
“What has happened here at Atherton High School is a really important story for local people as they campaigned to keep the school open, so it was an absolute pleasure to bring the Education Minister here today to meet the staff and pupils and see the fantastic work they do.”
Ms Keegan added: “I’d like to thank James for inviting me along to visit Atherton High School today and meet the staff and pupils.
“From speaking to pupils it’s obvious they are receiving a great education and are very happy, which is thanks to the headteacher Ben Layzell and all his staff who are doing a brilliant job.”
The school’s latest Ofsted report – published in January – reported progress had been made, but more was needed for it to move from “requires improvement” to “good” – the second highest mark possible, behind “outstanding”.