EDUCATION secretary Michael Gove has praised two of Abingdon’s schools after a visit to the county.

Mr Gove visited Kingfisher School to see a local academies trust in action before meeting staff and pupils at John Mason School.

He was accompanied by Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood.

The Kingfisher School is run by the Propeller Trust as part of a consortium with Fitzwaryn School, Wantage, and Abingdon and Witney College.

After his visit, Mr Gove said: “It’s been a double revelation. Nicola wanted me to come, I think, for two different reasons.

“I think the first was to see how the Propeller Trust had actually succeeded in using the powers that academy status brings to take a school that had been underperforming, particularly a school that for obvious reasons is supporting vulnerable children, so that we can see how much the collaboration within that trust had done.

“I think she also wanted me to see John Mason as well.

“This was a school that, under a particularly inspirational head, was taking very very positive steps to provide students with a range of qualifications and the type of education that is relevant to the modern world, and I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve seen.”

John Mason school spokesman Jonathan Hopkins, who joined the MP on his tour, told the Herald: “We couldn’t hold him back, he was diving straight in and talking to kids.

“In the history lesson we visited, he even took over teaching and started talking to the children about the suffragettes.”