The pioneering partnership between Horncastle’s two senior schools has been hailed as a shining example to the rest of the country.
The positive message came from Education Minster Nicky Morgan on a visit to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School and Banovallum School.
The two schools - one a selective grammar and the other a comprehensive - ‘joined forces’ last year to form the Horncastle Umbrella Trust.
Although retaining their independence, the schools work together on a number of projects and look set to form even stronger links.
After touring both schools, Ms Morgan said: “It was a pleasure to meet the staff and pupils at Banovallum School and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School whose hard work and dedication was clear to see.
“These schools have shown just what can be achieved by working together and why collaboration is key to delivering educational excellence everywhere.”
The visit followed an invitation from the town’s MP Victoria Atkins.
Ms Atkins, who joined the Education Minister on her visit, said: “I was delighted that the Secretary of State accepted my invitation to visit the ground-breaking Horncastle Umbrella Trust.
“It was a good opportunity for Heather Payne (QEGS headteacher) and Nicki Shore (Banovallum headteacher) to share with the Secretary of State the success of their partnership as part of the Horncastle Umbrella Trust.
“It was evident from the visit that the partnership is broadening the horizons of students at both schools and I will continue to support their work.”
During the tour, Ms Morgan and Ms Atkins met staff and students and took part in two question and answer session - one with representatives of the school councils and the other with headteachers from other schools in the area.
Topics discussed included the place of RE and Creative Arts in the curriculum, new assessment systems, fairer funding and the drive to support effective collaboration between schools.
Ms Atkins added: “I was pleased local headteachers had the opportunity to ask questions directly of the Secretary of State. Education is vital in ensuring successful futures for our children and the Secretary of State showed her commitment to making this happen.”