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Pupils debate key issues facing families with MP

Children debated the key issues facing families today with their MP Ian Lavery as he visited Bothal Primary School.

The school’s pupil leadership team raised the cost-of-living crisis, the need for free school meals, the climate crisis and their ongoing fundraising campaign for a new school minibus.

Mr Lavery, MP for Wansbeck since 2010, shared his thoughts on the importance of paying a decent living wage so that families can meet basic needs, while the children talked about the challenges of child poverty they see in their own community.

There was also a consensus on the need for universal free school meals, so all children had a decent lunch to help them learn, and for urgent action on climate change.

The former Lynemouth and Ellington Colliery miner was asked about his journey to Parliament, describing how he was active in the trade union movement and is particularly proud to serve the community he loves.

Mr Lavery also heard about the excellent recent Ofsted reports for Bothal Primary and its Ashington Learning Partnership sister school Central Primary; Bothal was rated outstanding and Central good with outstanding features.

Louise Hall, Executive Headteacher at the Ashington Learning Partnership, said: “The children were excited to meet their MP for the first time and fascinated to hear his thoughts on the key issues they had been debating recently in the pupil leadership team.

“We’re really grateful to Ian for coming in to meet the children and finding out more about the challenges currently facing the education sector such as attendance, attracting staff, poverty and strained school budgets.”

Mr Lavery added: “It was excellent to be given the opportunity to visit the school once again and to hear more about the progress at both Bothal and Central Primary Schools following their fantastic Ofsted reports.

“Then chatting about the issues concerning the school’s pupil leadership team was simply the icing on the cake. In Westminster, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the scale of the challenges we face, but every time I speak with young people here in Wansbeck, I am reminded that our future is in safe hands.”

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery is pictured with members of the pupil leadership team at Bothal Primary School.