Retford SEND students' letters to the Prime Minister hand-delivered to Downing Street

Students from St Giles School in Retford have taken it upon themselves to write letters to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, after finding out their principal had been invited to visit No 10.
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The students, aged between 16 and 18, with special educational needs and disabilities, decided to write to the PM after being inspired by a recent topic on persuasive writing.

Letters were typed by students after they thought carefully about what they wanted to ask and the words that would be best to use.

Sarah Taylor, assistant head teacher, said: “It’s great to see that pupils are not only able to use what they learn here at St Giles in the real world, but to know they have been inspired to take action, to stand for change and use their voices to communicate their feelings is truly incredible!”

St Giles' principal Matt Rooney (left) delivers the letters to No 10 with Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith. Photo: SubmittedSt Giles' principal Matt Rooney (left) delivers the letters to No 10 with Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith. Photo: Submitted
St Giles' principal Matt Rooney (left) delivers the letters to No 10 with Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith. Photo: Submitted

Noah, a student from Worksop said, “I think it’s important that people with special needs are listened to.

"It was amazing to have the chance to write to the Prime Minister. I asked him about pollution and global-warming, which is something I worry about.”

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Bryn, a student from Retford said, “I never thought I’d be able to write to the Prime Minster, but we’ve been learning about democracy and how important it is that we all have equal rights to be heard.

St Giles SEND students with their letters to the Prime Minister. Photo: SubmittedSt Giles SEND students with their letters to the Prime Minister. Photo: Submitted
St Giles SEND students with their letters to the Prime Minister. Photo: Submitted

"I asked about how he was helping my family with energy prices.”

Matt Rooney, principal at St Giles, was invited to Downing Street to meet with schools minister Damien Hinds MP (Con), in recognition of his work as a ‘community education leader’ and delivered the students’ letters by hand.

Mr Rooney said: "To be invited to Downing Street off the back of the amazing work our school does and to represent our whole staff team was a tremendous honour.

"But to be able to deliver the words and work of our students directly to the Prime Minister’s address personally was pretty special.

"I know they are all extremely excited by the possibility of receiving a response."

Brendan Clarke-Smith (Con), Bassetlaw MP, said: “It was great to co-deliver the pupils’ letters to the Prime Minister.

"Learning about democracy and equality at school is important but seeing it in action in the way that St Giles’ brings learning to life, is truly inspiring.”