Wymondham College hears from Lord Digby Jones during Speech Day

A Norfolk school has been praised for its ethos following a ceremony in which outstanding pupils received numerous hard-won awards.

Lord Digby Jones, former trade minister and life-peer, presented the pupils with their achievements, which included sports awards, subject prizes and college honours, before speaking in front of the school this morning (Saturday).

Pupils, staff and parents also enjoyed a musical interlude from year 13 student Thomas Martin, while head boy, George Anthony, and head girl, Lily Colman-Goff, rounded off the morning with a vote of thanks.

Speaking after the ceremony, Lord Jones praised the college and said he 'didn't think twice' when asked to attend.

'Wymondham College has got a fantastic ethos with a feeling of togetherness and it produces some fantastic winners - it's everything I believe in education,' he said. 'We need winners and losers and I don't agree with the people who say 'everybody can be a winner'. No they can't, life isn't like that and the world isn't like that. What we have to do in the education system is take the ones who haven't done as well and get them to the stage where they win a prize. What Wymondham College does is turn out kids for the world of work and life and not just the product of education.'

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During his speech to pupils he also offered lunch for four people and a tour of parliament if anyone donated �1,000 towards refurbishment of the school's technology block.

Principal Melvyn Roffe said the school had enjoyed listening to Lord Jones and added: 'It's the focus of the end of the school year and a culmination of all we've achieved and a time to take stock and show ourselves off to important people. The students don't necessarily see how it all fits together in the real world and so to hear from somebody they wouldn't normally hear from like this puts it into perspective for them and shows how they can do it.'

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