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The Somerset Guardian, 18th October 2023

One of the most interesting and important parts of an MPs role is first hand knowledge of events where they live. It is why our constituency based electoral system is so strong. It helps to ensure that Westminster does not become too remote.

Last Friday, I was fortunate to be invited back to Fosse Way School, which I had not been to since the last election, by its excellent headmistress, Ms Fiona Skinner, who is calm, skilled and clearly dedicated to her profession.

Fosse Way is one of the largest special schools in the country. There are around 220 pupils on roll from five different Local Authorities and it caters for children aged between three and nineteen who have a variety of needs. It also serves as a 'satellite resource' for students with Asperger Syndrome at Norton Hill School as well as provision at the Royal United Hospital offering transition into work for final year pupils.

I was taken on a tour around the school and into several classes, from the first class to the oldest students. It was clear that whilst the children who attend Fosse Way do endure a myriad of difficulties the school challenges pupils in the most gentle of ways, always encouraging them to use their potential and make the most of their talents.

I was pleased to see some of the older pupils making cakes in the kitchen under the supervision of caring teachers and it was a real delight to see the children learning and playing happily. There was book work as well as sensory classes, which are lessons undertaken in the dark with music. The school was clean, smart, peaceful and well organised and a real credit to all the staff.

I know that many parents and guardians of children who have disabilities and learning difficulties worry so much, especially that they have access to the levels of education and that other children in mainstream schools receive. However, parents and guardians can rest assured that there is no shortage of support and aspiration in Fosse Way School, something that is both so heartening and inspirational.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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