Following a personal invitation, Gillian Keegan, MP for Chichester, visited Fernhurst Primary School on Friday 23 February. The morning started with the school’s weekly Celebration Assembly, where student achievements are acknowledged and Student of the Week Certificates are awarded. The school singing “One in a Million”; a song about believing in yourself and others, was moving and nearly drew a tear to our esteemed visitor’s eyes. Gillian spoke to the children about her role as MP and spent time asking them about what they wanted to be when they grew up and she was really impressed with their enthusiasm to answer her questions. The assembly ended with the birthdays, one birthday boy commented “I can’t believe an MP sang Happy Birthday to me!”
Following the assembly, Gillian then got the opportunity to address the parents and school community at an Open Forum. Fuelled by home-made cakes and treats, courtesy of the school parents, Gillian spoke a bit about her education, her career and her background before taking questions from the floor. The first question raised was about fracking in the village and the surrounding area and from there we moved on to funding for schools, in particular the hot topic of fairer funding for West Sussex Schools. Questions were also asked about funding for Special Educational Needs within schools as well as the need for the government to enforce nationalised services to work more closely together. It was a very well attended and interactive session.
Accompanied by the headteacher, Gill Richardson, and the CEO of the University of Chichester Academy Trust, Sue Samson, Mrs Keegan then took a tour of the school, visiting all the classrooms and seeing the children engaged in their learning.
It was a pleasure to welcome Gillian to Fernhurst Primary School and we look forward to seeing her onward efforts to improve funding for schools in our area.
All photos to be credited to Chris Orange.