As lockdown restrictions have begun to be gradually lifted, and we all cautiously are taking steps to return to normal, I have enjoyed getting back out and about in our local area over the past few weeks. I know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and I have enjoyed seeing many re-open and trading again. I visited the Hare and Hounds pub prior to reopening, to see what safety measures they have put in place and heard first-hand how vital it was to get back to business as usual.
A passion of mine is the importance of education, and I know first-hand how vital it can be to enabling social mobility and unlocking the potential of every child. Thanks to the hard work of great teams of people, including parents, we are blessed to have some fantastic schools in our area that offer each student a leap forward and access to a bright future.
Of course, the pandemic had closed schools for many months and lots of pupils found themselves being home schooled, whilst also undertaking work set by teachers on Google Classrooms and other online resources. Since schools have begun to welcome students back in managed ways, I was overjoyed to have the opportunity to visit some across Morley and Outwood, and see what measures they have put in place.
In the last few weeks I visited The Morley Academy, Outwood Grange Academy, and Ledger Lane Primary school. In my time as our area’s MP I have visited each of these outstanding schools many times, and it was interesting to see how things had changed to adapt to the new measures.
From the implementation of new one way systems within school grounds and buildings, new hand sanitiser spots around school to maintain good hygiene, and the working from ‘bubbles’ to limit cross contact amongst year groups, I have been very impressed by the way schools in our area have adapted to the challenge and organised themselves well.
I was pleased to see each school I visited had reported a high level of participation in home learning, and to hear that students were excited to get back into school and learning there again. This is a credit to both the brilliant teaching teams, and the drive of our local young people who I know will achieve great things.
It was great to hear that teachers from Outwood Grange Academies Trust schools had some of the most-watched lessons on the national online education service, with views in the millions, showing once again the excellence of our local teaching teams.
During my visit to Ledger Lane Academy, I toured their new £1.3 million school building that is in its final stages of getting ready for use in the next academic year, the new classrooms are looking fantastic and I look forward to seeing them full of students in September when schools will reopen.
Finally, in Parliament, I took the opportunity to ask the Justice Minister how the Government will tackle a predicted rise in domestic abuse cases. I am pleased that the Government has plans in place to prioritise certain court cases, including domestic abuse cases, to help protect victims.
As always, if you are a resident of Morley & Outwood please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if I can be of any assistance via: Andrea.Jenkyns.MP@Parliament.UK