Wearside kids celebrate letter from the Prime Minister

MP Bridget Phillipson with Hetton Primary youngsters.
MP Bridget Phillipson with Hetton Primary youngsters.
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DELIGHTED pupils at a city school are proud of their letter from the Prime Minister.

Youngsters at Hetton Primary School took part in the international campaign Send My Sister To School, which promotes the right of every child to an education.

Students asked the MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson, to take their messages and poems to Downing Street to present to the Prime Minister David Cameron and were thrilled when he replied to them.

Ms Phillipson went back to the Moorsley Road school to present the children with their letter of reply from Mr Cameron and they were over the moon.

Carol Longstaff, deputy headteacher at Hetton Primary, said: “The pupils were absolutely astonished, they were shocked and amazed to get a letter from the Prime Minister.”

She said the letter meant a huge amount to the children and gave them a massive boost to think their hard work and their views had been acknowledged.

The school has supported the Send My Sister To School campaign for several years.

Mrs Longstaff said it is something the pupils are always keen to get involved with and they want to make sure governments keep their promise to send all children to school by 2015.

She said: “The children worked in their house teams to come up with slogans and messages.

“We all held hands in the school hall to create the outline of a sister figure to symbolise our support for the campaign.”

In his letter to the children, Mr Cameron thanked them for asking Ms Phillipson to take along their messages of support for the campaign to Downing Street.

He said: “It is a tragedy that 67million children around the world are still out of school.

“Investing in education is vital because it provides children with the best route out of poverty, giving them the power to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them.

“This is particularly true for girls.

“Helping women and girls take decisions about their lives is at the heart of UK development policy. The Department for International Development is supporting governments of developing countries to overcome the barriers that women and girls face.

“You should be proud to know that you have joined so many others to be part of a campaign to provide a better future for every child on our planet.”

Ms Phillipson said: “I was delighted to go back to Hetton Primary School to present the reply from the Prime Minister and to congratulate the pupils on their impressive participation in the Send My Sister To School campaign.

“We know that education allows people to develop their potential to the full but one in five people around the world cannot read and there are a billion illiterate people in the world.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to have a good-quality, free, public education and that is why I am happy to support this campaign.”

Send My Sister to School is the 2011 theme of the global campaign Send My Friend to School and is focusing on giving girls the same chance as boys. If it was equal, there would be 3.6million more girls in education today.