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Last Friday I had the pleasure of visiting Kings Lynn – going to both King Edward VII Academy and Open Road.  

My morning started off with a tour of King Edward VII before meeting with a group of students to discuss The Big Summer Survey as part of my Independent Family Review. With only a week left for children to complete The Big Summer Survey I wanted to hear first hand from children how they spent their summer holidays – whether that was the activities they did, who they spend the most time with, and where they went for support when not in school. It was great to hear them talking about spending time with their friends and family. We also had an insightful discussion about social media and online safety. 

In the afternoon I visited Open Road, an education charity working with children at risk of exclusion by delivering training programmes in automotive technology or construction. It was a real pleasure to to meet with the young people who have benefitted from access to vocational training and education. They told me how they had been given confidence and enjoyed learning a different skill outside of the classroom, which will set them up for adult life.

Children told me in The Big Ask, the largest-ever survey of children, that their top priority for the future was getting a good job or career. They also spoke about the importance of vocational education, which is why organisations like Open Road are so important. My ambition is for a cradle-to-career approach to education that also includes a stronger focus on vocational options and better careers education, as well as access to apprenticeships and vocational career routes. 

Thank you to both King Edward VII School and Open Road for inviting me to visit last week.

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