Privilege to see change

THE success of a school is far less about the shape of its buildings than the skill and determination of its teachers.

But I am pleased my party undertook a major renewal of our long neglected schools.

It was a great privilege, therefore, to see some big changes at Battle Hill Primary School in my constituency.

Just before Christmas I officially opened its new community room.

I have been a governor at the school for more than 20 years and was accompanied by Coun Norma Redfearn, who pioneered the Fuel 4 Kids breakfast clubs in the borough.

The school has been an important part of Battle Hill since the estate was established.

The staff and governors have always played an active role in both supporting community initiatives and also by inviting the community into the school.

It is only right that, at last, the school should have a dedicated community space that can be enjoyed by both the pupils and the community as a whole, for many years to come.

Despite all the controversial changes being made to our education system, by Michael Gove, it is good to see our dedicated teachers and governors are continuing to do an excellent job here in North Tyneside, not just looking after our schools but supporting our communities too.

On a topical note, the Commons this week controversially divided over the government’s plan to freeze benefit upratings. It was a transparent attempt to paint Labour as the friend of the shirkers rather than the strivers.

But nearly two thirds of those receiving some benefits, including some teachers, are in work and will be hit hard.

It’s a cheap political trick most people can see through.

May I wish everyone health, happiness and prosperity in 2013.