Education secretary Michael Gove is “very supportive” of funding a new secondary school in north Kingston, according to his party colleague Zac Goldsmith.

A bid for more than £20m to fund a new free school has been submitted to the Government by the Kingston Educational Trust, a partnership between Kingston University, Kingston College, Kingston Council and school improvement partnership Education Kingston.

Mr Gove made the comment this morning on a tour of Coombe Girls' School, taking questions from students.

Richmond and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith said: “I recommended Mr Gove to visit this school because it is an incredibly impressive school. I met students from here on Monday in Parliament.

“It was also the opportunity to put forward the case for funding a new school in north Kingston. He was very supportive.”

Mr Gove was joined by Kingston Conservative councillor Andrea Craig and director of children’s services Nick Whitfield as well as Mr Goldsmith.

The school was only told that Mr Gove would visit on Tuesday this week.

Headteacher Deborah Walls said: “I am extremely proud of this school and all the wonderful things that happen here.

“He said that there were things from this school that he would want replicated such as the number of girls studying physics in the sixth form and the teaching of music.”

On the fate of the free school bid, Liberal Democrat councillor Patricia Bamford, executive member of children and young people’s services, said: “We have put in a good bid. We will know the outcome later on in the year.”