Secretary of State's Yarmouth visit

A TOP government minister was full of praise for Great Yarmouth High School during a whistlestop visit to meet pupils and see the school's facilities today.

A TOP government minister was full of praise for Great Yarmouth High School during a whistlestop visit to meet pupils and see the school's facilities today.

Ed Balls, secretary of state for children, schools and families, said the Salisbury Road school had achieved strong exam results despite having to deal with the challenges of having pupils from a deprived area.

He said: “What this school proves is that even if you have got families with low incomes- and this is one of the most deprived parts of Norfolk- they can actually achieve really good results and this school has got good results in English and maths.

During his tour of the school, the Norwich-born minister, a season ticket holder at Norwich City, met pupils from the school's council and dropped in on one of the after-school arts classes.

He asked the school councillors what new facilities they would like to have and was told a bigger canteen so students did not have to queue for lunch.

The students grilled him on the state of the jobs market for school leavers, school transport and money for deprived areas.

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Mr Balls, MP for Normanton, provided a light hearted moment when he said he was a Canaries season ticket holder and asked the pupils where their allegiances lay, only to find very few Norwich fans among the council's membership.