Friday, March 1, 2024

Councillor in the spotlight at St Mary’s

A COUNCILLOR faced tough questions on education when he visited St Mary’s Catholic Primary School on Thursday.

Tunde Ojetola gave pupils in years 3, 4, 5 and 6 at the Tilbury school a crash course in what a local councillor does, and answered questions on two of the hottest topics in education right now.

Pupils asked the Conservative councillor for his view on the decision to offer free school meals to all key stage one pupils from September 2014, and what his thoughts were on the coming changes to the National Curriculum.

They were also keen to know what happens to councillors who break the rules.

Speaking at a lunch afterwards, Cllr Ojetola joked he was pleasantly surprised to be “grilled” by the pupils.

He said: “The children were lovely and showed a good level of engagement.

“Some of the questions were quite hard, which was nice. It’s good that they are so aware of the issues going on around them.”
James Bradley, headteacher at the school, which is currently top of the league table for SATs results in Thurrock, said: “The children were very pleased to get to talk to Tunde and it was really worthwhile to tune them into the political process.

“They asked some relevant questions on issues they can make a real-life connection to.”

Student council representatives Stephen Abolade, 11, and Mayowe Amolegbe, 10, led the questions.

Speaking afterwards, Stephen said he enjoyed being part of the school council and might consider becoming a local councillor himself when he grows up.

Mayowe said before cllr Ojetola’s visit she thought politicians were “scary people” and was relieved to discover otherwise.

She added: “I found the visit quite informative, councillor Ojetola was straight to the point and it was very factual.”

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