Monday, 8 December 2014

Football Skills on Show at Claygate Primary School

On Friday, I popped by Claygate Primary School, where headmaster Darryl Taylor introduced me to the FA Skills initiative on display.

FA Coach Roxanne Bennett was showing an energetic group of boys and girls a number of drills to sharpen up their footy skills. It is part of a program to help strengthen grassroots football through schools, but also to help primary schools teach the technical side of the game better. The youngsters were getting a lot out of the coaching - so it's clearly working - and the program covers all levels of skill and ability.

There are three full-time coaches working with primary schools across Surrey. It's funded by the FA and Sport England, so there's no extra cost for schools. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

End the Snobbery around Vocational Training

I have written a column for the Yorkshire Post, arguing we need to end the snobbery around the vocational route to success for youngsters.
University has a key role to play in the education system. But, it's not the only route to success. If we want to boost social mobility, make Britain more meritocratic, and fill the skills gaps in the UK economy, we need to broaden choices for bright - but not necessarily book-ish - youngsters. You can read the article here. 

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Autumn Statement: Santa wanted, Scrooge needed

With the Chancellor's Autumn Statement coming on Wednesday, I have penned a column for The Daily Telegraph today. I argue that with voter mistrust of politicians' promises so high, we need more honesty about the cuts to government spending that inevitably lie ahead, whether it's for the purpose of cutting debt, reducing taxes or finding extra money for public spending - or some combination.

You can read the article here.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Turning on Esher Christmas Lights

On Friday, a great crowd turned out to watch Esher's Christmas Tree lights go on.

Smita Mehra and Madelein Armstrong who lead Esher Business Guild organised a fantastic event. David Jensen turned on the lights, and we had wonderful carols sung by Milbourne Lodge School, and various festive treats provided by local eateries. Molesey scouts played the bugle, topping off a great occasion. 

The nominated charity this year was Shooting Star Chase, an inspirational hospice for children, so it was also an opportunity to promote a great local cause. Well done to Smita, Madeleine and Martha Jessop for coordinating everything.

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