This week I spent three days in Westminster and two days visiting organisations and people in the constituency. It has been good to get out and listen to people as well as the usual work in Parliament.
As I have mentioned before, we are put in a ballot to ask questions of ministers and I seem to be incredibly unlucky and not being picked. However, I was in the chamber to ask a question of the Education Secretary about children having to be sent home when one pupil in the classroom is found to have tested positive for Covid.
It does seem ridiculous to send the whole class home and makes it difficult for teachers to plan and deliver lessons. I think we should just keep the one child at home and get back to complete normality in September. We have to learn to live with this disease.
To gauge local views on another education matter, I am undertaking an online consultation on whether we should extend the school day.
I am a big fan of this and I want to see the extended time used for activities that do not fit into the normal school day to enrich the curriculum. This means we would need specialist teachers to take on some of the work, so that regular teachers do not always get involved.
I hope extended hours would give them the opportunity to have time during the day to do their marking and planning rather than taking it home with them.
If you would like to take part in the consultation it can be found here.
I have also posted a link on my Facebook page this week.
I was delighted to see Sajid Javid appointed Health Secretary. I have known him for a long time, he is an excellent choice and very experienced. I had a meeting with him this week and was pleased he wants us to get back to normal soon and has social care at the top of his list.
In the constituency, I visited the Waterlooville Health Centre again yesterday and met many of the amazing volunteers, some of whom have been working since February. In the picture above I am with Andrew, Richard, and Mandy who will have helped many of you.
I had a meeting with the leader of Havant Borough Council to push forward plans to redevelop Waterlooville town centre, followed by a visit to Pear Tree Court care home in Horndean for Care Home Open Week.
Today, I am talking to secondary head teachers as well as other visits and, in a slice of normality, it’s in person rather than virtually.
I also saw the Prime Minister this week at Downing Street and I was pleased with his commitment to social care reform. We also talked about the recent G7 meeting in Cornwall. As you can see from the photograph, he was in good spirits as usual.
Have a great weekend!