Sunderland pupils put MP through her paces

MP Julie Elliot on a visit to The Links School to give a talk on anti-bullying. Picture: TOM BANKS
MP Julie Elliot on a visit to The Links School to give a talk on anti-bullying. Picture: TOM BANKS
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Youngsters at a city school were able to put their MP through her paces.

Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central, went along to The Link School in the city to talk to the children about life as an MP and look at their latest work.

Children at the school, which has one site in Tudor Grove and the other in Pallion, have spent the term learning about all aspects of bullying and how it affects people.

Mrs Elliott was delighted to have a look around the school and see the work of the children themselves, before taking part in a question and answer session.

The young people grilled her on a wide range of topics including life in Parliament, how she became an MP, how society should tackle bullying and even if she had met the Queen.

The MP said: “It was great visiting the school. The atmosphere in the school is really lovely. I hope the pupils found it interesting.”

Headteacher Vicki Mawson said the children were all excited to be meeting an MP and were happy to be able to show her the work they have been doing on the topic of anti-bullying.

She said: “Because we are such a small school we know each and every child really well, so there’s no problem with bullying.

“But, we are raising awareness of the issues and giving the students the skills they need to understand and deal with it, and to recognise bullying.”

Pupil Tyler Boland, nine, said he had learned a lot since they started the topic, and fellow student, Dan Willis, nine, said: “We have learned that bullying is never the right way to deal with something.”

The Link School was formed a year ago from the former pupil referral units in the city. Tudor Grove caters for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils, aged between seven and 13, and the Pallion site takes pupils in Key Stage 4, from 14 to 16 years old.

Mrs Mawson said: “We wanted to give the students here a real sense of identity.”

The school recently became the only school in the city to be rated as a centre of excellence for inclusion.