Out and about within constituency
With the House of Commons returning on Monday, this week was an opportunity to get out and about in North West Norfolk visiting schools, businesses, and charities.
Education is key to opportunity in life so I am aiming to visit every school in the constituency to hear from teachers and pupils about their experiences and how we can work together to help young people to succeed.
First stop this week was KL Academy. In recent years the school’s performance has been improving with a focus on changing the culture and ethos.
Talking to the principal, the school’s commitment to supporting all pupils regardless of their circumstances to realise their potential was obvious. With places over-subscribed word has certainly spread about the positive change at the school.
Of course, academic performance is very important. But sport is rightly a vital part of the curriculum. It benefits physical and mental health as well as helping to develop skills, resilience, and experience that can be translated to other parts of life.
Over the summer the Euros, Olympics, Paralympics, and Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory showed the power of sport to inspire people. So I was delighted to officially open KL Academy’s new sports suite and even try out the rowing machines.
During my visit to Fairstead Community Primary and Nursery school, I talked about the challenges caused by Covid. The school’s leadership has good plans in place for recovery and using tutoring to help pupils to catch up.
It was encouraging that many of the questions the pupils asked me were about leadership and how they can make positive change through their roles on the schoolcouncil. There were similarly enthusiastic pupils at Tilney All Saints and Anthony Curton primary schools where over lunch pupils told me about their plans to mark harvest festival with a live-streamed event, while owls are set to swoop into Tilney today.
One of the charities I ran the London Marathon for was Little Discoverers which provides early education for pre-school children with movement difficulties and delayed development. Before the race I received a good luck card from the children and it was great to be able to join one of the sessions to say thank you and to talk to them and their parents as well as to show them my medal.
As the economic recovery continues, the latest figures showed that employment rates are now above the pre-crisis levels. There are also vacancies in hospitality and other sectors as well as specific short-term needs in agriculture and elsewhere which I have raised with ministers. Those jobs have been created by successful firms and I am committed to backing businesses generating growth locally.
One of those is Captain Fawcett. From the outside his HQ is nothing special but stepping inside is an experience I recommend, with curios, moustache mugs, and historical items in the Marvellous Barbershop Museum. Captain Fawcett is successfully selling grooming products to customers around the world. As a country, we need to boost our export performance and where the Captain leads, others should follow.