Four MPs visit our schools in June
21 June 2021
Diocese of Norwich schools and academies hosted the first of series of visits by Members of Parliament, for them to see first-hand how children and are building-back after lockdown.
On 18 June, Elizabeth Truss MP visited Mundford CofE Primary Academy, James Wild MP visited Aswicken CofE Primary Academy and George Freeman MP visited Necton CofE Primary Academy. Duncan Baker MP visited Hindringham, Blakeney and Kelling Primary Schools, part of the Pilgrim Federation on the same day.
Elizabeth Truss MP spent time visiting Mundford CofE Primary Academy. She was given an interesting tour of the school and the community garden by Jack Sargent and Alexandra Norton from Year 6.
Gracie Frary brought along the picture she drew of ‘Boris the Builder’ (main photo, top) which during the pandemic, Elizabeth had received to show Boris who reported he was impressed with her picture and his hairstyle!
After the tour, the MP sat down with some of the school children from different year groups to listen to how the children have coped with their schooling and life in general during the pandemic. One pupil highlighted how grateful he is to be back in school with his friends and another pupil explained just how hard it has been for her parents’ homeschooling, particularly with an annoying younger sister who wouldn’t sit still and just wanted to play with her toys!
Elizabeth Truss MP said: “Delighted to visit Mundford Church of England Primary Academy to meet students and the leadership team. The past year has been incredibly challenging for children with all schools having to make significant changes. It is great to have the opportunity to discuss with teachers the work that is taking place to support students as they catch up on missed lessons.”
The MP was accompanied by Sarah Godbold Executive Head of the school, the Chair of Governors, David Smith, Paul Dunning, Director of Education for the Diocese of Norwich, and Oliver Burwood, CEO of DNEAT.
Sarah Godbold said: “We were delighted to welcome Elizabeth Truss MP to our school. The children and staff were keen to share their journey during this pandemic. It has been a hard year with many new challenges to face, however, our staff, children, and parents have risen to them all with determination, resilience and grace. Throughout the most difficult periods, the community of Mundford has pulled together and because of this we have continued to flourish.”
Paul Dunning said: “All staff in our schools have done an excellent job in coping with the fast-changing and additional requirements caused by the pandemic. This and future visits will enable our local MPs to see this in person and enable us to update them on the Diocese of Norwich’s Education strategy and how that supports our 110 schools and the wider education system.”
He added: “More than a quarter of primary aged children in the area attend Church of England schools. There are 110 schools in the Diocese family, of which 36 are DNEAT academies and a further eight with St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust.”
Oliver Burwood, CEO of Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) said: “It’s important we work closely with MP’s and stakeholders in our local community, and the series of MP visits will be a proactive opportunity to advise on how the education system and our staff are playing a vital role in the long-term recovery from this pandemic.”
James Wild MP said: “It was a pleasure to be given a tour of Ashwicken Church of England Primary school by two year 6 pupils and the enthusiasm for learning was apparent in the lessons I joined. I was particularly struck by the eco committee’s passion and ideas to tackle litter, cut plastic pollution, reduce energy use, and to improve the environment. As it was a wet afternoon, I was impressed by the quality of the dens that were built in the Forest School. However, COVID has had a major impact on young people’s education and I talked to the headteacher about how they are supporting pupils and challenges involved in catching up time lost in the classroom.”
George Freeman MP said: “I am delighted to be able to pick up my regular schedule of constituency school visits once again – to continue in person the crucial conversations I have been having with Norfolk Education leaders, and speak with pupils, as we look to ensure our children are not only able to catch up on what they have missed during the pandemic but are also able to go on to thrive, excel and succeed.”
Duncan Baker MP said: “I was delighted to visit some of my Pilgrim Federation schools in North Norfolk. I have spoken many times in the last year about the incredible work that our teachers have done to continue educating our young people. I’m looking forward to thanking them and the young people who have endured so much.”
Further MP visits throughout the diocesan schools in Norfolk are planned in July, September, October, November and December.