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All Saints pupils share school return experiences with Barking MP

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 September 2020

L-R: All Saints pupils Francisc, Joe, Daniel and Antonia with Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge after talking about lockdown and the return to school. Picture: Nick Pauro

L-R: All Saints pupils Francisc, Joe, Daniel and Antonia with Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge after talking about lockdown and the return to school. Picture: Nick Pauro

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A group of youngsters have shared their experiences of life in lockdown and being back at school with their MP.

All Saints pupils met Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge to share their experiences of the pandemic and return to school. Picture: Nick PauroAll Saints pupils met Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge to share their experiences of the pandemic and return to school. Picture: Nick Pauro

Barking MP, Dame Margaret Hodge met with pupils and staff at All Saints Catholic School using the online calling system Zoom.

She met with Year 11 head girl, Antonia Oduwu, head boy Daniel Sekiwano, and fellow pupils Francisc Popluschi and Joe Lynch.

Antonia said: “This was my first time acting as head girl and meeting an MP so I am really happy that it was such a positive experience and that it showed our MPs in Barking and Dagenham care about our issues and want to make our lives better.”

Nick Pauro, deputy headteacher, added: “Our pupils are at the centre of why we do what we do, and it was very rewarding for them to have Margaret listen to their concerns.”

L-R: All Saints pupils Francisc, Joe, Daniel and Antonia with Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge after talking about lockdown and the return to school. Picture: Nick PauroL-R: All Saints pupils Francisc, Joe, Daniel and Antonia with Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge after talking about lockdown and the return to school. Picture: Nick Pauro

These include the unpublished exam timetable for next summer, the poverty gap and the suspension of free TfL travel for under 18s.

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Clare Cantle, headteacher, also met with Dame Margaret to raise the Department of Education’s decision to withdraw Year 7 catch-up grants from all schools.

These are aimed at helping pupils with lower attainment and literacy levels when they begin secondary school.

Dame Margaret said: “I’m really grateful to All Saints Catholic School for inviting me to hear how the school has prepared for a safe return of its students and staff.

“I spoke with a few pupils about their overall experience of returning to school and was pleased to hear that they have had a good experience getting back to a more normal routine.

“It is so important that all schools across the borough can keep their doors open to young people so they can get their education back on track.”

Dame Margaret also heard how the Dagenham based school has managed to return safely and the access to Covid-19 tests the school has - ten for more than 100 staff.

She pledged to do all she could to hold the government accountable.


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