Summer is a time of joy for our youngsters especially when the sun is shining. The school holidays are here and no more homework! For some, summer marks the end of their school or university life, when many goodbyes are said and new adventures begin. I have really enjoyed looking at the pictures of the many school leavers in their finery arriving at school in unusual modes of transport.
Some of you may have seen the letter sent by a Head Teacher congratulating her pupils on their Key Stage 2 test results but pointing out that other things are important too and there are many ways of ‘being smart’.
Exams are undoubtedly very important but other skills and attributes are important too. Playing sport, playing an instrument, the ability to get on with and care about others, volunteering and getting involved to name but a few. When applying for a job or a university place it is these extra experiences that the decision makers are looking for, they are what sets the applicant apart from the crowd.
I regularly go into our local schools and meet with head teachers and pupils. Our schools each offer unique and diverse things which all help to shape our children for the future and give them the experiences, knowledge and abilities they need. South Derbyshire schools all have one thing in common, they want the best for their pupils and I will always do what I can to help them achieve this whether that is locally, in Matlock or in Westminster.
Politics is taught mainly at Secondary level and I often go into schools to work with politics or citizenship classes talking about topical issues both locally and nationally. We also have a parliament at a local primary school where their “Prime Minister” wrote to David Cameron and received a lovely letter back “from one Prime Minister to another”.
Outside of school there are plenty of ways for young people to make themselves stand out. A great way is helping the community by volunteering or charity work or belonging to an organisation like Scouts or the Air Training Corps. In South Derbyshire there are lots of options from working outdoors with people like the Rosliston Forestry Centre to helping in a charity shop and CVS have details of all the options. At school it is often possible to do the Duke of Edinburgh Award which is well thought of by both employers and universities.
We are also very lucky to have the Derby Aero Club, based at Egginton Junction, in South Derbyshire who are currently working on two restoration projects, the Comet Racer Project and the Turbulent G-APNZ Preservation Project. Young people are welcome to become involved and should get in touch with the club, via their website, for more information. (www.derbyaeroclub.com). This is a real opportunity to learn new skills and be involved in something special.
We now have more apprenticeships and jobs in South Derbyshire than ever before, our local firms are expanding and taking on more staff as they grow and gain more business. I, and other local Parliamentary colleagues are supporting Derbyshire’s bid for the new HS2 skills college to be built in Derbyshire. This would give our youngsters even more options as well as draw people to the area and highlight our status as a centre of excellence.
With summer holidays in mind please ensure you are insured to travel to protect yourselves in the event of an accident.
Finally good luck to those awaiting results, I hope you achieve the level you need.