This morning, I joined pupils at Garratt Park School in Earslfield to plant the 500,000th tree of Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan's Trees for London scheme.
It's vital that we make London a green city for the future, where everyone has access to healthy outdoor space.
Visiting Earlsfield Primary, I saw first-hand how universal free school meals are working to produce a level playing field in schools and provide all children with a delicious and nutritious lunch.
Lunch should never be a struggle for families or a time of stress and stigma for children – and Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s funding means it won’t be here in London.
The verdict from the judges that matter: the Red Velvet cake with beetroot was a hit.
Congratulations to all the students who have received their A level results – and to the teachers, staff and schools that have helped get them there.
Whether our students are going on to university, apprenticeships, further training, or joining the workforce, they have all made us proud with their hard work, dedication and resilience.
This year was particularly challenging. For many pupils, this was their first experience of exams in a formal sense, after GCSEs were suspended during the pandemic. Grade boundaries were also raised to return to 2019 levels.
However, our students and schools excelled, with a number of Tooting schools exceeding the London average of 30% A*-A grades – itself a pass rate that is the highest in the country. London schools are still benefitting from the London Challenge investment of the last Labour government.
Our Tooting students and our Tooting schools and staff are something to celebrate.
We are so proud of you.
It was so nice to be at Smallwood Primary School to learn about the fantastic work of the Chefs In Schools. It's amazing that all catering is now in-house, with chefs cooking food that has been grown by the students themselves.
The children were so enthusiastic about their freshly cooked and nutritious lunches. I believe that the work we’re doing with Chefs in Schools will go a long way to promote positive attitudes and relationships with food and mealtimes for our young people. It was great to be able to support!
It was great to be joined by Lord Wajid Khan at Rutherford House School.
We met with the school's Pupil Leaders who had some insightful questions about our work in Parliament, and also taught us about their values of resilience and respect. What a credit to the next generation!
So glad that I was able to attend this event with Lord Khan.
Tom's Farm at Nightingale Academy is truly special.
From taking care of the animals to competing in national young farmer competitions, students here are provided with the very best learning opportunities. These kids have an outlet to learn about agriculture and animals in a supportive environment.
I’m so proud of the work the farm is doing, and I’m looking forward to returning to see everyone soon - especially the adorable animals.
It was an absolute pleasure to spend time at Beatrix Potter school today. The students were engaged, Year 3's cursive handwriting was impressive, and Year 6 had insightful suggestions on tackling the climate emergency. It's safe to say there were some future leaders in the room!
It’s incredibly insightful to see young leaders develop and put their ideas into practice to shape the world in the future. I was truly inspired.
Thank you for having me!
The Year 2s at Tooting Primary School have been learning all about strong women.
I was honoured to be invited to speak with the pupils all about being what it means to be a doctor and represent our wonderful community as MP.
It is so important that we recognise and champion the voices and stories of strong women.
And the students had great questions. They even taught me a few strong women facts!
Last week, along with Fleur Anderson, MP for Putney, I was fortunate to visit Heathmere School - a local primary supported by the fantastic mental health charity, Place2Be.
It was a wonderful opportunity to hear how Heathmere is promoting positive mental wellbeing for pupils, as well as learn more about the range of support Place2Be provides for schools across Wandsworth and the rest of the UK.
During the visit, we heard first-hand from pupils who have benefitted from Heathmere’s whole school approach to mental health and Place2Be’s support. In addition, we were able to meet with Heathmere’s Headteacher, Emma Lewis, Place2Be’s Area Manager for South West London, Khalad Musse, and Place2Be’s Chief Executive Catherine Roche to discuss children’s mental health.
It is so important that we shine a spotlight on the incredible work organisations, such as Place2Be, are doing to support children and young people. As we move beyond the pandemic, it is vital that we dedicate our care and attention to listening to young people to understand how we can best support them.
Teachers and school teams are doing a phenomenal job, and I know that digital poverty is a real worry for them, as well as for families across Tooting. Early on in the pandemic, Labour called for a set of measures that would see a mass roll-out of devices and internet access to students currently struggling to learn online, alongside steps such as ‘zero-rating’ of educational websites to ensure data charges are not putting barriers on access to education during lockdown.
The digital divide risks failing a generation. I am so pleased to have been able to help close this gap.