Welcome to this, my 158th news bulletin.
It’s not often that I get the opportunity to combine my role as your local MP with my work in Government as Minister for Children and Families, but this week I got to do just that.
On a visit to Underwood West Primary School in Crewe, I was able to see for myself how the biggest, most ambitious and aspirational reforms to Special Educational Needs (SEN) in over 30 years are starting to bed in.
And what underpins these reforms - that I’ve taken through Parliament - is something that perhaps should go without saying: the desire to see all children with SEN and disabilities do well in education, find employment, lead happy and fulfilled lives, and have more choice and control over the support they receive.
It’s a radical overhaul that breaks down artificial barriers, and that champions children with SEN as never before: from birth right through to adulthood.
And Underwood West are helping lead the way.
Through their “Achievement for All” programme, the school is bringing together teachers, professionals and parents to support their children who have additional needs so that they really do achieve their potential.
Why is this important? For too long, families who have children with SEN have faced big enough challenges in what one mother called “an unending battle” with a system that’s supposed to be on their side.
Our reforms and the work of Underwood West Head Teacher Jane Tomlinson are designed to take us from a system that, despite best efforts, simply became too complex, fractured and adversarial, to one that’s clearer, more joined-up and much more focused on children achieving their best.
This means raising our ambitions much higher - and putting young people and their parents firmly in the driving seat.
When I spoke to one of the mums during my visit, it was refreshing to hear how this new approach had already started to make a real difference for her child – whether that be more confidence, better social skills or improved reading and maths.
My mission in politics, derived from a childhood spent living with foster children, has always been to make sure that some the most disadvantaged in our local community should get every possible chance to be the best they can possibly be.
My visit to Underwood West made me proud to be MP for a part of the country that gets that too.
Edward Timpson MP
Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich
Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.
Since my last e-mail, I have...
- Spoken with plotholders at Ford Lane allotments, about the future of Crewe's allotments and the great success that the community at Ford Lane is enjoying.
- Met with residents of Wychwood Village to discuss how I can support their campaign against overdevelopment in the green gap around the village
- Brought Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to Crewe, to see the work of the Cheshire Academy of Intergrated Sports and Arts on Broad Street, and meet some of the disabled athletes who are in training using the fantastic facilities there.
- Attended the Holly Holy Day re-enactment, which this year commemorated the 371st anniversary of the Battle of Nantwich.
- Held two of my regular constituency advice surgeries, in Crewe and in Nantwich.
- Addressed the Year 8 students of Citizenship at Brine Leas School, who kindly invited me to talk about my work as an MP and Minister for Children and Families.
- Become a 'Dementia Friend', by receiving training from the Alzheimer's Society.
Thanks to the Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who joined me and Cheshire East's Cabinet Member for Care and Health in the Community, Councillor Janet Clowes, at the Cheshire Academy of Integrated Sports and Arts at Broad Street.
He saw first-hand how the Academy has evolved, with the Council's support, into a thriving community resource, offering integrated sports, gymnastics, arts and dance to children and young people of all abilities, together with a community cafe, older people's lunch club, cookery courses, cinema club and IT coaching.
Also pictured here are Jane Whetnall MBE (Chief UK Coach) and members of the Rhythmic Gymnastics Team, some of whom have been selected as part of the UK Team in this summer's Disability Olympics in the USA.
I was pleased to receive 'Dementia Friend' training from the Alzheimer's Society's Lucie Newsam this week. I have also arranged for all of my team in the Crewe and Nantwich constituency office to become Dementia Friends, to help us all understand more about dementia, and the ways we can support people who are living with dementia in our community.
You can find out more about becoming a Dementia Friend yourself, at https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/
Edward Timpson MP throws his support behind Credit Union
Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has visited Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union’s offices in Crewe to see how they are helping to keep local people and families out of the clutches of loan sharks and payday lenders.
Help to Buy home scheme benefits 112 in the area
Crewe Chronicle: Edward Timpson MP has welcomed new figures showing that the Conservatives’ Help to Buy scheme is helping families to achieve their dream of buying their own home
Residents urged to fight 900 home village plan
Crewe Chronicle: Campaigners fighting plans for the new 900 home village at Gorstyhill are urging residents to make their feelings known to the council before the February 18 deadline.They have secured the backing of MP Edward Timpson.
Copyright © 2015 Edward Timpson MP. Promoted by D Potter on behalf of E Timpson both at Churchyardside, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5DE
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