Tollbar Academy Year 7 student Alfie Royston with (l-r) Martin Vickers (MP for Cleethorpes), Philip Bond (Chair of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust), Michael Gove (Secretary of State for the Environment) and David Hampson OBE (Chief Executive of TMAT).
Tollbar Multi Academy Trust has received a glowing report from former Education Secretary Michael Gove, who described the Trust as "a shining light for educational excellence" on a visit to Tollbar Academy.
Greeted by TMAT Chief Executive David Hampson OBE, and Chairman Philip Bond, the now Secretary of State for the Environment added: "Tollbar's success just shows what you can do with great leadership, great teaching and committed students. Tollbar has worked extremely hard with other schools and their excellent leadership has allowed teachers to put students first."
Mr Gove was on a flying visit to the Academy where he presented Year 7 student Alfie Royston (11) with a gift to thank him for campaigning against plastic waste in an effort to save our seas. Alfie began his campaign at New Waltham Primary Academy with an assembly for classmates, and has since gone on to talk in a number of local schools in an effort to encourage his peers to use less plastic. He joined Tollbar Academy this month.
Mr Gove heard about Alfie's campaign in Parliament from Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers and promised to visit him when he got the chance. Accompanied by Mr Vickers, he presented Alfie with a reusable, life-long drinks bottle.
Alfie, who hopes to become a Marine Biologist, was highly commended in the Lincolnshire Environmentalist Awards in 2018. He said he was "buzzing" to have met such a top Government Minister.
"I never thought my project would go this far," he said. "I just watched the Blue Planet and felt sorry for the fish and animals that are being affected by so much plastic waste. I just wanted to do something about it. I want my generation to realise that we need to replace plastic with other materials like glass to ensure that we can make life better for these creatures."
Mr Gove described Alfie as "inspirational." He added: "It is of vital importance that we reduce the amount of plastic waste we use."
Mr Vickers MP said: "Alfie is amazing. He talks with real passion about his project and he is single-minded in his approach to try and get other children to follow him in taking better care of the environment."
David Hampson, TMAT Chief Executive, said: "Alfie's project began before he joined us and he is a credit to New Waltham Primary Academy and to his parents, Kelly and Neil, who are here with him today. We are delighted that he is now a Tollbar Academy student. We are very pleased to have Mr Gove here at Tollbar Academy and we really appreciate his kind comments regarding the Trust."
(L-r) Alfie's parents Kelly and Neil Royston; Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes MP); Philip Bond (Chair of TMAT); Year 7 student Alfie Royston; Michael Gove (Secretary of State for the Environment); David Hampson OBE (Chief Executive of TMAT); Jayne Perry (Head of New Waltham Academy); and Caroline Yates (Tollbar Academy Principal).
Alfie Royston receives his reusable drinks bottle from Environment Minister Michael Gove at Tollbar Academy.
Caroline Yates (Principal of Tollbar Academy) presents Michael Gove with a copy of the Tollbar Times yearbook on his visit to the Academy with Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers.