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Royal approval

A Royal seal of approval was given to The Vale Academy’s facilities and its high educational standards.

Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal officially opened the school’s building and took the opportunity to praise its students, staff and leadership.

The visit generated a huge sense of pride and excitement at The Vale, with civic dignitaries and invited guests witnessing the opening and being shown the impressive facilities.

Principal Nicola Williams said the visit had been a “tremendous success”.

Her Royal Highness arrived by helicopter on to the school’s playing field, to be greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant for Lincolnshire Toby Dennis, Humberside Police’s Chief Constable Lee Freeman and scores of flag-waving pupils from local primary schools.

She was greeted at the academy’s entrance by Mrs Williams, the Chief Executive Officer of Delta Academies Trust Paul Tarn and civic dignitaries, including the Mayor of North Lincolnshire Cllr John Briggs and the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council Cllr Rob Waltham.

A tour of the building followed, including visits to the English department, library PE, art, science and technology, where she stopped to speak to many students, staff and guests.

She was welcomed into the hall where she listened to “phenomenal” performances from the academy’s orchestra and choir.

Before unveiling the plaque, the Princess gave an impromptu speech in which she congratulated everybody involved with the school. She also reflected on her last visit to a Delta academy when she opened the new Nautical College at Hull Trinity House in 2017.

She said The Vale’s facilities were “only part of the equation”.

“Having nice facilities is good but unless you’ve the right leadership and the right attitude from everyone here, it doesn’t tend to work,” Her Royal Highness said.

“To those of you who come here as pupils, yours is an important part of that contribution.”

Referring to the academy’s best-ever GCSE results in the summer and its position as the top-performing school in North Lincolnshire, she said: “You’ve had a lot of success in a short space of time and I wish you all the best. You’ve set yourself some very high standards.”

Civic leaders reflected on the visit after the Princess Royal’s departure.

The Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, Cllr Rob Waltham, was full of praise for the building the high standards being achieved.