Education secretary opens Passmores Academy

Passmores School featured on the show Educating Essex Credit: ITV Anglia

It may not have gained the global fame of Harry Potter but Passmores School and Technology College was thrust into the media spotlight last year when documentary makers filmed every detail of school life.

The Channel 4 show Educating Essex captured students and teachers.

Last August the school was awarded academy status and moved to a new purpose built building.

Today it was officially opened by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The school's faced criticism with some describing teachers behaving 'child-like' in the programme.

But pupil Gabriella Burton said: "The teachers are there to inspire us and I think the way that we learn best is when they do entertain us and they are more on our level."

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, said: "I did catch Educating Essex I thought it was a fantastic programme because what it really showed is that teachers are at the heart of what makes a school special and there are some terrific teachers here.

"Vic Goddard is a fantastic head teacher and as we heard Mr Drew, one of the stars of the show, has just been poached at this school to go and teach at another school."

Deputy head and discipinarian Stephen Drew is leaving Passmores to become head teacher of Brentwood County High School. Drew was uncharacteristically camera shy today but staff said he would be sorely missed.

'Educating Essex' has been nominated for the Audience Awards at the BAFTAs.

Vic Goddard, Head teacher at Passmores Academy, said: "It's bizzarre. BAFTAs are for really clever people who do amazing things on television and all we did is what we do everyday. It wasn't anything spectacular so yeah it's odd."

Passmores has been graded as outstanding by OFSTED for the past four years. And although Mr Goddard says winning a BAFTA would be a proud moment, he wants the school to be recognised more for its academic achievements.