I always welcome letters from my constituents. I hear from people about a whole host of issues from farming to welfare, the environment to terrorism, from tax credits to tax avoidance, even the survival of our bee population. My priority, as a local man is to fight for those issues that matter most to local people.
A few weeks ago I was really pleased to receive a letter from Ciaran. He is 9 years old and attends Stephenson Way Academy primary school in Newton Aycliffe. Ciaran wrote congratulating me on my re-election. Last week I visited him at his school and thanked him personally for his letter.
At a special assembly, I answered many varied questions from Kiran and the children of his year group. I was asked why I became and MP, had I always wanted to be a politician and what had I achieved for the area. I was really impressed at how well thought out the questions were. They are a fantastic bunch of children.
Following the Q&A, I was taken on a tour of the school. The creativity that went into each lesson was clearly seen. Classrooms were decorated in line with a teaching theme and each class was exceptionally well behaved. The school has been on a journey over recent years and is going from strength to strength. After a meeting the head teacher Mr Tim Cassap I could see why. Mr Cassap was excellent and was full of good ideas and enthusiasm. The children seemed to have genuine regard for him and I was very impressed by his passion for teaching and for the school.
Primary education is so important and can determine whether a child flourishes or fails in later years. It was encouraging to see such a wonderful school in action.
Thank you to Ciaran and the school for the invite. I hope to be back again soon.